Israel had agreed that Piñera could go up to the Temple Mount, known to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif – but presumed he would do so, as is customary, together with Wakf officials (Times of Isreal).

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera apologizes to President Reuven Rivlin for visiting the Temple Mount with Palestinian officials on Tuesday, drawing Israeli ire, Rivlin’s office says.

“Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people since the days of King David,” says Rivlin, as the two meet at his Jerusalem residence.

President Reuven Rivlin (R) and his Chilean counterpart Sebastian Pinera shake hands prior to their meeting at the President's Residence in Jerusalem on June 26, 2019. (Gali TIbbon/AFP).
President Reuven Rivlin (R) and his Chilean counterpart Sebastian Pinera shake hands prior to their meeting at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem on June 26, 2019. (Gali TIbbon/AFP).

“As you know, the sovereign State of Israel allows, develops and cares for freedom of worship and religion for all those who enter the gates of Jerusalem. Our historical connection to Jerusalem, and our sovereignty in Jerusalem, make us responsible for preserving Jerusalem as a city of faith and peace.”

Rivlin also rebukes the Palestinians for boycotting the Trump peace confab in Bahrain.

“The gaps between us and the Palestinians are great, but we must begin with small steps of cooperation, and not to boycott or refuse plans that will improve our economic and social situation. We must cooperate in every field where we can work together. That is the only way,” he says.

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