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Palestinians demand apology after UN chief says there was a Jewish temple on Temple Mount

Palestinian officials are demanding an apology after the new United Nations chief told Israel Radio that the Temple destroyed by the Romans was a Jewish temple.

It is “completely clear that the Temple that the Romans destroyed in Jerusalem was a Jewish temple,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told Israel Radio on Friday during an interview with its New York correspondent.

The UN chief also said that “no one can deny the fact that Jerusalem is holy to three religions today,” including Judaism.

The United Nations Secretary-General designate Antonio Guterres speaks during his swearing-in ceremony at UN headquarters, Monday, December 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
The United Nations Secretary-General designate Antonio Guterres speaks during his swearing-in ceremony at UN headquarters, Monday, December 12, 2016. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Adnan al-Husseini, the Palestinian Authority’s Jerusalem affairs minister, tells the Chinese news service Xinhua that Guterres “ignored UNESCO’s decision that considered the Al-Aqsa Mosque of pure Islamic heritage.” He also says that Guterres “violated all legal, diplomatic and humanitarian customs and overstepped his role as secretary general… and must issue an apology to the Palestinian people.”

Guterres also told Israel Radio that he would not initiate a new peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, but that he did believe in a two-state solution and would be willing to assist in a peace process if asked to do so.

— JTA

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