Adnan al-Husseini, Palestinian Authority Jerusalem Affairs minister, said: “[Guterres] ignored UNESCO’s decision that considered the Al-Aqsa Mosque of pure Islamic heritage”.
Al-Husseini added that the UN Secretary-General “violated all legal diplomatic and humanitarian customs, overstepped his role as Secretary-General, and…must issue an apology to the Palestinian people”.
Secretary-General Guterres had spoken to Israel Radio last Friday and reportedly said that it is “completely clear that the Temple that the Romans destroyed in Jerusalem was a Jewish temple”.
The UN chief added that “no one can deny the fact that Jerusalem is holy to all three religions today”, including Judaism.
Ahmad Majdalani, a Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee member said that the statements “undermine the trustworthiness of the UN as a body that should support occupied peoples”.
He added: “It appears that the Secretary-General of the United Nations lacks culture and knowledge in his own specialisation”. Majdalani called on the Guterres to clarify his position “that gives a green light to the occupation to undertake more measures against Jerusalem”.
UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee approved a resolution in October that made no mention of Jewish ties to the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site for over three thousand years, by exclusively referring to the holy sites by their Muslim names.