Al-Azhar welcomes UNESCO decision to confirm Al-Aqsa Mosque as holy site for Muslim worship

Daily News Egypt
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Recently released Palestinian prisoner Ahmad Khalaf (C) prays in front of the Dome of the Rock at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem on December 31, 2013. Israel freed 26 Palestinian prisoners as part of US-brokered peace talks ahead of Secretary of State John Kerry's latest visit to the region. The prisoners were the third batch of 104 detainees that Netanyahu pledged to release in four stages when the peace talks were revived in July. AFP PHOTO/AHMAD GHARABLI

Al-Azhar Observer welcomed the decision of the United Nations Educational, Cultural, and Scientific Organization (UNESCO) on Friday, which considered Al-Aqsa Mosque a holy site and worship for Muslims, according to state media.

The observer said that the decision is considered a victory for Palestinians and all Muslims around the world.

It further called on finding comprehensive and just solutions to the Palestinian issue, to end the Israeli occupation, and to restore the rights of Palestinians. It also called on the international community to support Arab and Islamic efforts to turn Palestine into a sovereign state, and further protect Palestine, Islamic, and Christian sanctities.

The recognition of Al-Aqsa as a holy site for Muslims has seen historical debates waged over the mosque’s religious affiliation between Palestine and Israel.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry’s visited Israel in June to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Egypt is making continuous efforts to find solutions to the problem, and calling for peace negotiations between both countries.

Shoukry’s visit to Israel was criticised and considered unjustified and untimely.

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