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PA Foreign Ministry claims Israel is “opening the door to religious wars”, targets “holy sites”

Headline: “The [PA] Ministry of Foreign Affairs: The ruling of the occupation’s court regarding the Al-Aqsa Mosque is ‘colonialist and illegal’”

“The [PA] Foreign Ministry said that the ruling of the occupation’s court regarding the Al-Aqsa Mosque is ‘colonialist, illegal, and mocks international law and the decisions of the international institutions,’ and especially the resolution about [the mosque] that was passed [on Oct. 13, 2016] by UNESCO (UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).
The Foreign Ministry statement was published in response to the ruling made yesterday (sic., Feb. 26, 2017) by the Israeli Magistrate Court in occupied Jerusalem, which considers the Al-Aqsa Mosque (i.e., the Temple Mount) to be the holiest site for the Jews, and determines that they have a right to pray there, and no one has a right to prevent them from reaching the plazas and going up to what it called ‘the Temple Mount’ (see note below –Ed.).
[The ministry] emphasized: ‘This court is using Talmudic (i.e., Jewish) sayings and establishing them as a basis for its ruling, with no connection to any law at all. The fact that the occupation authorities are continuing to target the holy sites, and especially the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, constitutes an outrageous violation of the religious and cultural rights of the Palestinians, who are collapsing under the occupation. It opens the door to religious wars in the region, and this is something that the Palestinian leadership has warned against on several occasions.’”

The reference to a Jerusalem Magistrate Court ruling apparently refers to how on Feb. 26, 2017, the court convicted Sahar Natsheh, a 48-year-old Palestinian woman, for assaulting Israeli Parliament member Shuli Moalem-Refaeli at the Temple Mount over two years prior. Natsheh pushed Moalem-Refaeli and shouted at her to leave the Temple Mount, in an attempt to block her access.

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) passed a resolution in Paris on “Occupied Palestine” on Oct. 13, 2016, 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.
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