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Southern aerial view of the Temple Mount, Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem. Wikimedia

October 27, 2016: The cultural body of United Nation passed a resolution denying any Jewish links to the holy sites which include the Temple Mount. UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee adopted a resolution on Wednesday which is similar to the one passed last week by the UN’s cultural agency, sparking an international debate over the Jerusalem’s future.

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To understand the situation, one need to know about the basic beliefs surrounding the holy site. Here is the historic background which raises the current debate over the holy site.

Temple Mount and Al-Haram al-Sharif

It is one of the most sacred sites for the Jewish people in the ancient times and is still believed to be so. For Jews, the two temples that once resided at the Temple Mount makes it special and holy for them. The first one was destroyed by the Babylonians in 587 B.C., while the other one was destroyed by the Romans in A.D 70. Carrying out excavations was always difficult for the unending conflict but archaeologists and historians do not question the existence of the temples.

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For the Muslims, the same very place Temple Mount which they call it as Al-Haram al-Sharif is very special as it is the place where the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) ascended to Heaven. The Dome of the Rock as well as the Al-Aqsa Mosque survives even today. Such historical incident makes it holy for the Muslims.

Apart from these, it is also an important place for the Christians. To them, the Mount of Olives is where Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is also located near Temple Mount.

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Long-standing conflict
The Temple Mount/Al-Haram al-Sharif has been a long-standing conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians. Both Jews and Muslims wish to worship at the site have led to the conflict which in turn resulted in the death of many over the past century. Israelis and Palestinians have accused each other of destroying their history at the holy site.

That being said, Temple Mount’s connection with Jews can never be denied. The site is the center of the history as well as the belief of a religion.

Souptik Mukherjee to explain it, writes on The Jerusalem Post, “We need to understand that the Temple Mount is to the Jews is what the Ram Janmobhoomi Temple at Ayodhya is to the Hindus.”

– by Pinaz Kazi of NewsGram. Twitter: @PinazKazi


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