Israel rebukes Chile over president's visit to Temple Mount

Israel orders Chile's ambassador in for dressing down after Chilean president visits Temple Mount with Palestinian Authority leader.

Tags: Chile
Arutz Sheva Staff, AFP ,

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera visits Bethlehem
Chilean President Sebastian Pinera visits Bethlehem
Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90

Israel protested to Chile on Wednesday after President Sebastian Pinera visited a highly sensitive Jerusalem holy site alongside a Palestinian Authority leader.

Pinera, on a visit to Israel, toured the Al-Aqsa mosque complex on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on Tuesday, with images on social media showing him accompanied by Palestinian Authority officials, including the PA's Jerusalem affairs chief Fadi al-Hadami.

According to Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz, Chilean Ambassador Rodrigo Fernandez was rebuked for Pinera's visit taking place "in violation of the regulations and a prior agreement."

"The freedom of worship, which Israel observes more than anyone else has, should be separated from safeguarding our sovereignty on the Temple Mount," he said in a Wednesday tweet.

Foreign dignitaries normally coordinate their visits to the volatile site with Israeli officials.

An official source in the Chilean delegation said the visit was a "private" one, in which "formally, only the delegation from Chile participated."

Pinera, who landed in Tel Aviv on Monday, was due to meet with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu later in the day. Pinera will meet with Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on Thursday before taking off for Japan.