7 DECEMBER 2020

The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General.

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Questions and Answers

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Question:  Yes.  My second question, in a tweet of Mr. Nickolay Mladenov about the arsenal against the church, a famous church in Palestine near Jerusalem, he used the word “arsonist”. While he was a settler, he was caught by the Palestinian.  He was handed to the police.  He is 49‑year‑old.  And the word “arsonist” is very vague.  He… instead of saying he is an extremist settler who try to set a famous historic church on fire.  Do you have any comment on that?

Spokesman:  I mean, I’m not sure what you want me to say.  I mean, I think… I mean, I’m… I will… I think the word “arsonist” is a very strong word.  It denotes a criminal intent to do harm by setting fire.  I’m… I’ll leave it at that.  I’m not a native English speaker, but to me, “arsonist” has always been a very strong and direct word.

Question:  Yeah, the nationality of this arsonist is vague, so that is what also is missing.  I mean, he should say Israeli arsonist.  I thought that clarifying the nationality of the arsonist is important in this incident.

Spokesman:  Noted.

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For information media. Not an official record.