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9 January 1986
THE SITUATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST
REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO
INVESTIGATE ISRAELI PRACTICES AFFECTING
THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF THE POPULATION
OF THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES
Letter dated 9 January 1986 from the Permanent Representative
of Jordan to the United Nations, addressed to the Secretary-General
On instructions from my Government, I have the honour to bring to your attention the blatant desecration of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the occupied Arab city of Al-Quds committed by some 20 members of the Israeli Knesset on 8 January 1986 while the faithful were engaged in the midday prayer. The members of the Knesset, who belong to the Internal Affairs Committee of the Israeli parliament, entered the interior of the holy place with the intention of desecrating it by establishing a place of prayer there for adherents of the Jewish religion. Immediately upon entering the mosque, the Israeli parliamentarians encountered members of the faithful, who drove them out. The intruders then called the Israeli police. Before long a large number of police officers, led by the commander of the Southern Unit and the Al-Quds Chief of Police, arrived on the scene, entering the mosque with great show, provoking and outraging the faithful and offending the sentiments of the believers by flouting the inviolability of that holy place of Islam. In addition, the Israeli police attacked Muslims who were present and the civilian guards of the mosque, who were shocked by this humiliating treatment. It should be pointed out that this is not the first time that the Al-Aqsa Mosque has been the target of desecration and violation by Israeli extremists. This despicable attack and irresponsible behaviour on the part of members of the Israeli legislature has aroused the indignation, repulsion and anger of the inhabitants of Al-Quds, the West Bank and the entire Muslim world. Sheikh Saad Eddine El-Ilmi, President of the Supreme Muslim Council, has sent a telegram of protest to the Israeli leaders demanding the withdrawal of their occupation troops which have, since yesterday, been blocking the entrance to the mosque.
This act of aggression committed by members of the Israeli Knesset, including Julia Cohen, who has openly advocated the expulsion of Arabs from Al-Quds and the West Bank, constitutes a violation and a desecration of the holy places of Islam and a challenge to hundreds of millions of Moslems, for whom the Al-Aqsa Mosque is the place towards which all the faithful turn at the beginning of their prayers and the third most holy place of Islam. This act of aggression is part and parcel of an Israeli plan directed against Muslim and Christian sacred monuments in Al-Quds and the occupied Arab territories.
Jordan, which condemns and strongly denounces such acts, is deeply concerned at their consequences, which can only be detrimental to the cause of peace and stability in the region. Moreover, such an act runs counter to the international rules and principles governing foreign occupation, which forbid an occupying State to interfere with the private and public life of the civilian inhabitants living under its occupation and prohibit infringements of the freedom of worship and the violation of holy places.
I should be grateful if you would arrange for the text of this letter to be circulated as a document of the General Assembly, under the items entitled "The situation in the Middle East" and "Report of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Population of the Occupied Territories", and of the Security Council.
(Signed) Abdullah SALAH