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Libels
Libel: Israel to destroy Al-Aqsa Mosque
PLO criticizes UN Sec-Gen for Jewish Temple comments: “Israel has no connection to the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, its plazas, its walls, or what is underneath it,” accuses Israel of “violations” at Al-Aqsa Mosque
Ma’an, independent Palestinian news agency - Feb. 2, 2017
 






Headline: "PLO: The UN secretary-general's statements are outside the scope of his authority"
       "The PLO Department of International Relations condemned the claims made by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in an interview with Voice of Israel [radio] regarding the 'Jewishness of the Temple' in occupied East Jerusalem. The department emphasized that Israel has no connection to the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, its plazas, its walls, or what is underneath it, and referred to the UNESCO resolution [of Oct. 23, 2016] that determined that the mosque belongs to the Muslims and nobody but them.
The department added that the secretary-general has deviated from his neutrality and his role with this grave statement, and crudely favored the Israeli occupation state, which indicates his clear ignorance regarding the international decisions regarding occupied Jerusalem.
The department said that the role of the UN and its secretary-general is being put to the test as long as Guterres does not apologize for these grave statements that contradict international law, which it is the role of the UN to uphold and implement.
The department called on the international community and its organizations in general, and the Arab and Muslim states in particular, to fulfill their roles and come out against these claims that encourage Israel and its extremists to commit many more violations at the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque and in occupied East Jerusalem in general. This destroys the two-state solution and contradicts dozens of UN and [UN] Security Council resolutions on this matter."
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On Jan. 29, 2017, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was interviewed by Benny Avni of the Voice of Israel radio station. In the interview Guterres discussed the rise in Antisemitism in both Europe and the US, saying that it is a "dangerous trend" and that what particularly worries him about it is that it is "directly impacting Jewish communities," and that "people are attacked." He also noted that the Antisemitism against Jewish communities does not seem to be related to the State of Israel.
Regarding the discrimination against Israel in the UN, Guterres said: "Israel needs to be considered as a state as the same as all the others with exactly the same rights and obligations and without any form of discrimination."
Addressing the issue of Jerusalem and the Jewish Temple that stood on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Guterres stated that: "It is clear to me that the Temple of Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans, was a Jewish temple. As it is clear for me today that Jerusalem is today a holy city for three religions. These are the facts that nobody can deny."
Questioned about his plans regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the peace process, Guterres answered: "I have no initiative planned. I am a strong believer in the two-state solution... what I believe is necessary is that the two parties come together and find an agreement to have peace."

UNESCO Resolution on “Occupied Palestine” - On Oct. 13, 2016, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) passed a resolution in Paris on “Occupied Palestine” with 24 countries voting in favor, 6 against, and 24 abstentions. The resolution was later approved by UNESCO's World Heritage Committee on Oct. 26, 2016, in a secret ballot in which ten countries voted in favor of the resolution, two opposed, eight abstained, and one country, Jamaica, was absent.
In the resolution, UNESCO refers to the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, only as “Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif,” and presents it only as a “Muslim holy site.” The resolution condemns “escalating Israeli aggressions” and Israeli “violations” at the site, and calls on Israel “to respect the integrity, authenticity and cultural heritage of Al-Aqṣa Mosque/Al-Ḥaram Al-Sharif… as a Muslim holy site of worship.” The resolution likewise refers to the Western Wall Plaza as the “Al-Buraq Plaza ‘Western Wall Plaza,’” adding quotation marks to the Jewish name for the site.
The resolution was submitted by Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, and Sudan.
The countries voting for the resolution were: Algeria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chad, China, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Mauritius, Mexico, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, and Vietnam.
Those voting against it were: Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, The Netherlands, the UK, and the US.
Mexico later noted for the record that its position on the issue is one of abstention, although the vote count was unaffected.
On Oct. 14, 2016, Director General of UNESCO Irina Bokova indicated her opposition to the proposal, making the following statement: “The heritage of Jerusalem is indivisible, and each of its communities has a right to the explicit recognition of their history and relationship with the city... To deny, conceal or erase any of the Jewish, Christian or Muslim traditions undermines the integrity of the site, and runs counter to the reasons that justified its inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage list. When these divisions carry over into UNESCO, an organization dedicated to dialogue and peace, they prevent us from carrying out our mission."

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