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Press Release on UNESCO Resolution on Al-Aqsa

The Media Review Network welcomes the UNESCO resolution on Islam’s third-holiest site in Jerusalem.


We view it as an important step to decolonise Palestinian religious sites which have been under Israeli occupation.


In particular, we welcome the text of the resolution which unequivocally refers to the al-Aqsa mosque compound site in occupied Jerusalem’s Old City only by its Muslim names: al-Aqsa and al-Haram al-Sharif.


This is a crucial development in light of Israel’s violations and deliberate efforts to destroy al-Aqsa. It is a timely reminder that Judaization of Jerusalem and excavations around the al-Haram al-Sharif, disguised as “archaeological studies” will not be tolerated.


The UNESCO resolution also condemns Israel for restricting Muslim access to the site, and for aggression by Israeli police and soldiers, while also recognising Israel as the occupying power.


The Media Review Network believes that the resolution provides the South African government  a fresh challenge to reassess the morality of continuing its diplomatic, economic and military ties with the colonial regime.


The recent debacle during Israel’s illegal attack and capture of the Women’s Boat to Gaza, which saw the unjust detention of Leigh-Ann Naidoo and the despicable performance of South Africa’s envoy Sisa Ngombane, is a reminder of the futility of relations.


South Africa’s foreign policy is anchored in its commitment to human rights. The UNESCO resolution is thus a compelling reason to ensure that we do not forsake this.


Iqbal Jassat

Exec Member: Media Review Network


Iqbal Jassat