RNA - Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi on Saturday praised the UNESCO resolution that has sharply criticized the Israeli policies toward al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Palestine.
Hailing the resolution for its emphasis on the rights of Palestinian people to their territory and sanctities and for rejecting Jewish ties to the holy site in occupied East Jerusalem, Qassemi described the Israeli regime’s negative reaction to the resolution as a sign of its frustration and a proof of the Tel Aviv regime’s plots to deceive the world public opinion and lack of commitment to the international law and resolutions.
Israel has suspended cooperation with UNESCO after the UN cultural body passed the resolution that condemns Israel for restricting Muslims access to the site, and for aggression by the Israeli police and soldiers. It has also recognized Israel as the occupying power.
Al-Aqsa Mosque compound is the third-holiest site in Islam. It is located in East Jerusalem, which Israel annexed following its invasion in 1967 -in a move never recognized by the international community- as part of its subsequent military occupation of the West Bank.
Jewish settlers and Zionist organizations have called for complete Jewish control over the mosque compound.
Jewish groups refer to the site as the "Temple Mount" and their increased incursions into the mosque compound have continuously led to Palestinian protests across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli military and armed settler incursions have resulted in Palestinian deaths and injuries in recent years in particular. Muslim access to the religious site has also been tremendously limited by the army.