The meeting has been hailed as the first of its kind, and among those attending were Israel’s Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef and Sheikh Mahmoud Habbash, the Palestinian Supreme Sharia Court judge and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Islamic affairs adviser.
A joint statement released after the meeting said: “God created life and commanded life. Therefore, we denounce the killing of innocents or any kind of aggression against the other”.
It continued: “We believe the deliberate killing of or attempt to kill innocents is terrorism, whether it is committed by Muslims, Jews or others. In this spirit, we encourage all our people to work for a just peace, mutual respect for human life and for the status quo on the holy sites, and the eradication of religious hatred”.
Rivlin hailed the meeting as “important and significant”. He said: “We all know that the tensions between Jews and Muslims are difficult and specifically for that reason we insist on meeting together here today. We must not allow this land to once again witness a sacrifice of blood senselessly spilled”.