Israel’s National Security Minister Ben-Gvir entered the Al Aqsa Mosque complex early Tuesday, a day after he announced he was postponing the visit due to warnings of unrest.
The United Arab Emirates and China have called for a UN Security Council meeting after Israel’s National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir entered Al Aqsa Mosque’s courtyards in occupied East Jerusalem amid warnings of unrest.
The Council is expected to convene on Thursday, diplomats said.
The visit drew fierce condemnation across the world, with the US, Israel's closest ally, expressing deep concern over the recent developments.
''We're deeply concerned by any unilateral actions that have the potential to exacerbate tensions precisely because we want to see the opposite happen,'' State Department spokesman Ned Price said.
''The United States stands firmly for the preservation of the historic status quo with respect to the holy sites in Jerusalem.''
He added that any unilateral actions undercutting the status quo are ''unacceptable.”
READ MORE: Widespread condemnation as Israeli minister enters Al Aqsa Mosque compound
'The whole world is concerned'
Ben-Gvir holds far-right views about Palestinians and has called for their expulsion.
He has repeatedly joined Israeli settlers in storming the Al Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem.
The far-right politician also caused a wave of escalation in the occupied city after he set up an office in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.
In November 2022, Israeli President Isaac Herzog warned in a leaked audio clip that "the whole world is concerned" about Ben-Gvir's extremist views.
For Muslims, Al Aqsa represents the world’s third-holiest site.
Jews, for their part, call the area the Temple Mount, saying it was the site of two Jewish temples in ancient times.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem, where Al Aqsa is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, and annexed the entire city in 1980, a move never recognized by the international community.
READ MORE: Why Israel’s Ben-Gvir move to enter Al Aqsa is seen as ‘provocative’