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 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”.