Israel again turns down U.N. on probe of Temple Mount riot

October 26, 1990|By Robert Ruby | Robert Ruby,Jerusalem Bureau of The Sun

JERUSALEM -- Israel rejected yesterday a second U.N. Security Council resolution asking it to cooperate with a U.N. mission investigating the Temple Mount violence, highlighting the government's anger at both the United Nations and the United States.

An aide to Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir described the latest resolution, approved unanimously Wednesday, as "anti-Israel" and said it would not change the government's decision against cooperating, despite a direct appeal by President Bush to Mr. Shamir.

"The Israeli decision against receiving the U.N. mission is based on principle," said Avi Pazner, Mr. Shamir's media adviser. "It regards the question of sovereignty over our capital, Jerusalem."

Security Council members, including the United States, voted earlier this month to send a team to investigate the clash that took place Oct. 8 between Palestinians and police on Jerusalem's Temple Mount.

As part of its efforts to halt a wave of violence, Israel meanwhile maintained for a second day a ban on Palestinians in the occupied territories from entering Israel.

In addition to stopping Palestinians from entering Israel, soldiers were preventing Palestinians from traveling by private car beyond the local district in which they live.

Israel's Cabinet labeled the U.N. mission "totally unacceptable" and said it would refuse to help.

President Bush had sent a personal message to Mr. Shamir before Wednesday's Security Council vote, asking him to soften his government's position. Mr. Shamir rejected the appeal and publicly complained that the United States was sacrificing Israel's interests to satisfy Arab states allied with Washington against Iraq.

In Israel's view, the Security Council's insistence on sending a special team to Jerusalem was a direct challenge to Israel's control of the city.

In describing events in Jerusalem, the Security Council infuriated the Israeli government by referring to Israel as "the occupying power." Israel captured East Jerusalem during the 1967 Six Day War and announced unification of the city.

An independent panel appointed by Mr. Shamir to investigate the Temple Mount violence is expected to issue its report in the next several days.

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