Oct 21, 2021

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Israel is working to thwart an Arab-led UNESCO resolution that is seeking to declare the Western Wall as a Muslim holy site.

The proposal, which is expected to voted on by Oct. 21, is “an attempt to redraw history and blur the connection between the Jewish people and its holiest place and to create a false reality,” the Israeli Foreign Ministry said.

The Western Wall includes the remains of a retaining wall erected by King Herod from the Second Temple that was destroyed by the Romans during the 1st Century CE. While the Temple Mount is the holiest place in Judaism, restrictions against Jewish prayer at the site have led to the nearby Western Wall becoming a focal point for Jewish prayer.

The draft resolution was submitted to UNESCO’s Executive Council by six Arab states, including Algeria, Egypt, Kuwait, Morocco, Tunisia, and the United Arab Emirates, on behalf of the Palestinians. The resolution calls the Western Wall “Buraq Plaza,” in reference to the Islamic tradition that the Prophet Mohammed’s horse, Buraq, was tethered there when he ascended to heaven from the Temple Mount.

The proposal also calls for an international condemnation of the recent actions of Israeli forces in Jerusalem, which is called the “occupied capital of Palestine” in the resolution.