Yair Lapid, Israel’s Foreign Minister, said on Sunday that Israel was “committed” to maintaining the status quo at the flashpoint Jerusalem holy site at the center of a recent wave of violence.
“Muslims worship on the Temple Mount; non-Muslims simply visit,” Lapid explained, referring to the Jewish title for the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which is the holiest spot in Judaism and the third-holiest in Islam.
“There has been no change, and there will be no change — we have no intentions to partition the Temple Mount between religions,” he told reporters.
Since the middle of the month, Palestinian protesters have battled with Israeli riot police at the Al-Aqsa compound, as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan coincided with Jewish Passover.
These battles have occurred against the backdrop of broader violence in Israel and the Palestinian territory that has killed 38 people since late March.