Jordan protests before UNESCO against Israel's excavations in Jerusalem

05-07-2014 12:04 PM

Ammon News - AMMONNEWS - Jordan yesterday protested against a report made by Israel for UNESCO about Jerusalem, an official statement said.

The statement was presented ​​by the Jordanian delegation participating in the 38th meeting of the World Heritage Committee of UNESCO. In it the delegation said: "Israel's falsification of historical facts, its attempt to obliterate the Arab identity of Jerusalem, as well as the excavations lead to the Judaisation of Jerusalem antiquities."

In statements to the Anadolu news agency, the Minister of State for Media Affairs and government official spokesman, Mohammed Al-Momani, said: "The report describes most of the violations of the Israeli occupation against the legacy of the holy city as work that aims to preserve the heritage of Jerusalem."

The statement rejected "the imposed intervention of the occupation's heritage authority in the affairs of the restoration of churches would be named a positive action to maintain the heritage of the Old City of Jerusalem, as the case with the ongoing intervention inside the Church of the Resurrection," Al-Momani explained.

It called on Israel, as the occupying power on the ground, "to commit to stop the dozens of projects of the Judaisation of the heritage of Jerusalem's Old City, and allow UNESCO to access and assist in preserving the heritage and authenticity of an international heritage site that is important and sacred."

Al-Momani said: "Today, this site is subjected to an ugly destruction operation and to the blurring of its Islamic and Byzantine symbols, in both public and confidential ways by the Israeli Department of Antiquities, which is considered a violation of international law and the peace agreement between Jordan and the State of Israel in 1994."

The statement also implicitly criticised UNESCO for being unable to intervene "to save the Mugrabi Gate pathway, most of which has been removed, as an example of the long list of violations in the Old City of Jerusalem, such as the case in Silwan, Ras Al-Amud and the Muslim cemeteries surrounding Al-Aqsa Mosque."

The statement stressed the need to refrain from courting the occupation at the expense of a heritage that is being destroyed and supporting the case of preserving the heritage of the city of Jerusalem and Palestine instead.

*Middle East Monitor

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