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PA government: Israel is working to "Judaize" Jerusalem and "shake the foundations of the Al-Aqsa Mosque"

     "During its weekly meeting, which was held yesterday [March 7, 2017] in Ramallah, led by [PA] Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah… the [PA] government emphasized that the decision of the Israeli magistrate court in occupied Jerusalem - according to which the Al-Aqsa Mosque is a holy site for Jews and they have a right to pray there - is an invalid decision (see note below –Ed.). This decision was issued by the occupation's court in an attempt to provide a legal character to the justification of the extremists’ attacks and the daily invasions of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and to render valid the occupation’s crimes against Jerusalem and the sites holy to Islam and Christianity.
The government emphasized that UNESCO's (UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) resolution [of Oct. 13, 2016] regarding the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque (i.e., the Temple Mount) and the Al-Buraq Wall (i.e., the Western Wall) was meant to provide international approbation to the indisputable right of the Palestinians. It was also an expression of the international community's condemnation and its opposition to all of the Israeli occupation's policies and steps, whose goal is to erase the historical facts and harm the political, cultural, and firm religious rights of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem. In addition, this is also about the exposure of the falsehood of the Israeli narrative, with which the occupation has been misleading global public opinion and the international community for many decades, and which it has attempted to impose with military force from the first day of the occupation of the holy city [of Jerusalem]. Today, it attempts this through a decision by the occupation's court, in a desperate attempt to challenge the UN resolution, and in order to continue to impose the policy of creating facts on the ground, and to escalate it as part of its policy to Judaize the holy city - the same policy whose latest expression was carrying out construction work in the area of the Umayyad palaces adjacent to the Al-Aqsa Mosque. This was not in an attempt to prove any right of the Jews there, as they have already failed to do so despite the excavations that have taken place since the occupation of Jerusalem in 1967, but rather only to shake the foundations of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and cause cracks in its walls."

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.

The PA and its leaders consider all of the Temple Mount an integral part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Therefore they view any presence of Jews on the mount as an “invasion.” It should be noted that Jews who visit the Temple Mount only enter some sections of the open areas, and do not enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque or the Dome of the Rock.

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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