Jordan protests Israeli violations at UNESCO

AMMAN – Jordan on Thursday said it had lodged an official complaint with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) against ongoing Israeli excavations beneath the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Israeli attempts to efface Jerusalem's Arab identity.

Jordanian Information Minister Mohamed Momani said the official Jordanian delegation to the 38th International Heritage Committee, a UNESCO affiliate, had submitted a formal complaint against Israeli activities in Jerusalem's Old City.

"The complaint details Israeli violations against the heritage of Jerusalem," Momani told Anadolu Agency.

The complaint, he added, also mentions Israeli interference in the renovation of the city's churches.

The Jordanian minister said his country had called on Israel to suspend a number of projects being carried out in Jerusalem aimed at "Judaizing" the historical city.

The complaint, he added, had also called for granting UNESCO access to the city so that it might help safeguard its heritage.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming Jerusalem as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state.  

Sacred to both Muslims and Jews, Jerusalem is home to the iconic Al-Aqsa Mosque, which for Muslims represents the world's third holiest site.

Jews refer to the area as the "Temple Mount," claiming it was the site of two prominent Jewish temples in ancient times.

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