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Jordan sees UNESCO Jerusalem decision as ‘big gain’

Momani says resolution crowns Amman’s efforts to preserve holy city

By JT - Jul 05,2017 - Last updated at Jul 05,2017

Tuesday’s UNESCO decision on the old town of Jerusalem has been celebrated by Jordan as a victory of its policies in defence of the holy city (File photo)

AMMAN — The UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee decision which the agency adopted on Tuesday night on the old town of Jerusalem and its walls is a result of active Jordanian diplomacy to defend the city, a senior official said.

Minister of State for Media Affairs Mohammad Momani said on Wednesday that Jordan’s pro-Jerusalem efforts are part of Hashemite custodianship of Islamic and Christian sites in the holy city.

Participants in the World Heritage Committee’s 41st session in Krakow, Poland, called on Israel, the occupying power, to stop persistent excavations, tunnelling, works, projects and other illegal practices in East Jerusalem and especially in the Old City.

They also decided to keep Jerusalem’s Old City and its historic walls on the List of World Heritage in Danger. 

The resolution stated that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying power, which have altered or purport to alter the character and status of the holy city of Jerusalem, and in particular, the “basic law” on Jerusalem, are null and void and must be rescinded forthwith.

Momani, who is also the government spokesperson, added that the decision supports all previous decisions taken by the committee and UNESCO’s executive council, which are considered big gains for Jordan  as it endeavours to preserve Jerusalem, a role that the Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty acknowledged for the Kingdom in Jerusalem, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 

He also said that the decision, which Jordan presented jointly with Palestine through the Arab group at the committee, emphasised that all Israeli procedures and violations in East Jerusalem are null and void under the international law.

The decision also supports previous decisions, including the one when the agency adopted the names Al Aqsa Mosque and Al Haram Al Sharif as synonyms, while under another resolution, UNESCO reaffirmed that the Magharbeh Gate hill is an integral part of Al Aqsa Mosque, he added.


The resolution also called on Israel, the occupying power, not to hinder the implementation of Hashemite construction projects at Al Aqsa Mosque and to reopen Al Rahmah Gate of the mosque, which Israel has been closing since 2003.

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