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Abbas’ religious advisor: Israel “invading”’ the Temple Mount, a “purely Palestinian Islamic site”

Headline: "The occupation police closed the Al-Aqsa Mosque and settlers invaded it"

"Those that are called 'alleged temple' organizations and extremist [Israeli] occupation government Minister of Agriculture Uri Ariel two days ago [June 28, 2017] called on the settler public to participate in its masses in group invasions of the Al-Aqsa Mosque yesterday, Thursday, to mark the anniversary of the killing of settler Hallel Ariel (13-year-old Israeli girl, stabbed to death by a terrorist as she slept in her bed–Ed.), who was killed last year in one of the settlements in Hebron…
Supreme Shari’ah Judge of Palestine and [PA] President [Mahmoud Abbas’] advisor on Religious and Islamic Affairs Mahmoud Al-Habbash… noted that the extremist groups, which are supported by the Israeli political and security echelon, take advantage of every religious or political incident or event in order to connect it to the ongoing invasions of the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque. This is in an attempt to cover up the crimes against the Muslims and the sites holy to Islam in Jerusalem, and the fact that they [the Muslims] are being prevented from holding their religious ceremonies that are anchored in international law, and also in order to prepare the mood for implementing the division of the Jerusalem Noble Sanctuary (i.e., the Temple Mount) according to areas and times, as was done at the Ibrahimi Mosque (i.e., Cave of the Patriarchs). Al-Habbash emphasized that these holy sites are a pure Palestinian Islamic heritage to which non-Muslims have no right, as was determined by the latest UNESCO (UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) decisions."

"Alleged Jewish Temple organizations" refer to religious Jewish movements including the Temple Mount Institute, the Temple Mount Heritage Foundation, The Initiative for Jewish Freedom on the Temple Mount and Students for the Temple Mount, which spread awareness of the importance of the Temple Mount in Judaism and encourage people to visit the site.

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.

Hallel Yaffa Ariel, 13-year-old American Israeli, stabbed to death as she slept in her bed in Kiryat Arba near Hebron by Muhammad Taraireh – 17-year-old Palestinian terrorist, on June 30, 2016. Taraireh also injured one of the Israeli security personnel before he was shot and killed.

"Division according to areas and times" refers to a proposed law (May 2013) being reviewed in Israeli Parliament that would allow for both Jews and Muslims to pray on the Temple Mount, what the Palestinians call the Al-Aqsa Mosque plaza. The law seeks to designate separate prayer times and areas of the site for Muslims and Jews. However, Israeli PM Netanyahu has stated on many occasions that the Israeli government has no intention of ‎changing the status quo on the Temple Mount, which means Jews are allowed to enter the Temple Mount, but cannot pray there or engage in any type of worship.

UNESCO (UN 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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