Israel to Biden admin: 'Don't intervene in Jerusalem crisis'

Israel's National Security Adviser tells Biden administration not to intervene in Jerusalem riots. 'It would be a reward to Arab rioters.'

David Rosenberg ,

Arab rioters clash with Israeli police outside of Old City of Jerusalem
Arab rioters clash with Israeli police outside of Old City of Jerusalem
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

The Israeli government urged the US not to intervene in the ongoing riots in Jerusalem, telling the Biden administration that any international intervention would simply serve as a “reward” to the rioters.

During a phone call with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan Sunday, Israel’s national security chief Meir Ben Shabbat said the US and the international community should refrain from intervening in the ongoing violence in Israel’s capital city.

“International intervention is a reward to the Palestinian rioters and those who back them who were seeking international pressure on Israel,” Ben Shabbat told Sullivan, according to a report Monday morning by Walla’s Barak Ravid.

Ben Shabbat told his American counterpart that Israel is dealing is the crisis “from a position of sovereignty and responsibility regardless of Palestinian provocations.”

The Israeli national security chief added that if the US and other countries wish to help restore calm in Jerusalem, they should pressure those responsible for incitement on the Arab side.

Earlier on Monday, the White House issued a statement from Sullivan, saying that the US has “serious concerns about the situation in Jerusalem, including violent confrontations at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount during the last days of Ramadan.”

Sullivan highlighted recent engagements by senior US officials with senior Israeli and Palestinian Arab officials and key regional stakeholders to press for steps to ensure calm, deescalate tensions, and denounce violence, the statement added.

“Sullivan also reiterated the United States’ serious concerns about the potential evictions of Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood. They agreed that the launching of rocket attacks and incendiary balloons from Gaza towards Israel is unacceptable and must be condemned,” it added.

The statement also said that Sullivan “encouraged the Israeli government to pursue appropriate measures to ensure calm during Jerusalem Day commemorations.”

“Mr. Sullivan expressed the administration’s commitment to Israel’s security and to supporting peace and stability throughout the Middle East, and assured Mr. Ben-Shabbat that the US will remain fully engaged in the days ahead to promote calm in Jerusalem,” concluded the statement.

The violence in Jerusalem continued on Sunday night, with a large number of Arabs rioting on Mount Scopus, near the Hebrew University campus.

Several Jews who were passing by are reported injured. Three sustained head injuries from stones thrown at them, and were evacuated to Shaare Zedek Hospital in the capital. Another three were targeted with pepper spray and were treated at the site.

Several others were physically attacked, including three police officers who arrived at the scene and used stun grenades to disperse the rioters. The injured police officers were also evacuated for medical treatment.

On Saturday night, the Middle East Quartet, of which the US is a member, urged Israel to “exercise restraint” amid the ongoing violent clashes between security forces and Arabs in Jerusalem.

“The Envoys of the Middle East Quartet from the European Union, Russia, the United States, and the United Nations are closely monitoring the situation in East Jerusalem, including in the Old City and Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood,” said a statement published by the Quartet.

“The Envoys express deep concern over the daily clashes and violence in East Jerusalem, in particular last night’s confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli security forces at Haram Al-Sharif/Temple Mount.”