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'Jerusalem needs UNESCO's intervention'

The Palestinian governor of Jerusalem has warned against the repercussions of what Israel is doing at Al-Aqsa Mosque, pointing to Israeli attempts to turn the Tankaziya School, located inside the mosque, into a synagogue.

In an interview with Radio Mawteni yesterday, Adnan Al-Husayni said: “The Israeli occupation’s government is attacking monuments and history. Therefore, the United Nations Organisation for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) must intervene to stop the destruction of this historic building that dates back to the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.”

“For two years, the occupation government has been preparing for a programme and various projects in the vicinity of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, including an additional building on the surface of the Tankaziya School. There is also a possibility that they intend to demolish some parts so as to build one of the largest synagogues that have been recently built in the Old City,” he added.

Al-Husayni noted that the Tankaziya School is located on the right side when one is heading towards the Al-Aqsa Mosque’s entrance from the Al-Selsela Gate. It had been renowned for Sharia studies since the Mamluk Era. After 1967, Israel seized it. The school directly overlooks the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque.

“Al-Aqsa Mosque is an Islamic Waqf [endowment],” Al-Husayni said, “and as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is responsible for the Islamic Waqf, it will surely have a stance regarding the dangerous work carried out by the Israeli government.”

He stressed that the heritage and the people of Jerusalem need international protection.

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