10 July 2019

The Israeli Foreign Ministry in June rebuked Chilean President Sebastián Piñera for visiting Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem in “violation of protocol and clear agreements,” Haaretz reported.

Piñera visited Al-Aqsa while accompanied by Palestinian officials, which, according to the Foreign Ministry, went against an earlier agreement with Chile. They added that “one must separate between complete religious freedom, which Israel insists on upholding, and the maintenance of our sovereignty over the Temple Mount.” Foreign officials are usually compelled to coordinate their visits to Al-Aqsa with Israeli officials.

A statement from the Foreign Ministry said the reprimand came at the direction of Foreign Minister Israel Katz.

“The Foreign Ministry views any infringement of Israeli sovereignty over the Temple Mount as serious and a violation of clear procedures,” the ministry said. “We must distinguish between absolute freedom of worship… and the preservation of our sovereignty over the Temple Mount.”

There was no immediate response from Santiago.