The United Nations cultural and heritage body, UNESCO, has condemned Israel’s “escalating aggressions” regarding the holy site in Jerusalem’s Old City, known to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif, and to Jews as the Temple Mount, prompting a furious reaction from Israeli politicians.
A resolution passed on Thursday denied the importance of the site to the Jewish faith by referring to it and the Al-Aqsa mosque only by their Muslim names, the politicians said.
The site has been a flashpoint between Muslims and right-wing Jews over the past two years in particular, although tensions in the vicinity date back for decades.
— Brits For Israel (@BritsForIsrael) October 13, 2016
The resolution was backed by 24 countries, with six opposing it and 26 abstaining. The US, UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Lithuania and Estonia voted against the resolution; Russia and China were among those backing it.
While affirming the importance of the Old City to all three monotheistic faiths – Judaism, Islam and Christianity – the resolution refused to acknowledge Jewish connections to ‘Temple Mount’, al-Haram al-Sharif, Israeli sources said.
The resolution said Muslims’ freedom of worship was being curtailed by “escalating aggression and illegal measures”. It criticized the “continuous storming of Al-Aqsa mosque and Al-Haram al-Sharif by the Israeli right-wing extremists and uniformed forces … [and] forceful entering by so-called ‘Israeli Antiquities’ officials”.
(The Guardian, PC)