Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a warm welcome to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Monday, on the first day of Ban’s two-day trip to try and restart talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
Earlier Ban had condemned what he called Israel’s continued “colonisation” of the West Bank as an obstacle to peace. Netanyahu warned him of another.
“I believe that unilateral steps by the Palestinians at the UN will not advance peace. I think they will do the very opposite. They will bring about a further deterioration in the situation, something none of us want,” Netanyahu insisted.
Earlier on Monday Israeli police had to storm the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem after they came under attack from a crowd with petrol bombs and stones. Palestinians were angered at the visit of a hard-line Likud member to Temple Mount along with a group of Orthodox Jews. Palestinians say many Muslims are prevented from praying at the mosque on security grounds.
Police dispersed the crowd, but many sought refuge in the mosque and built barricades, which had to be destroyed before the police could gain entry.