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Kuwait rejects calls for sharing of supervision over Al-Aqsa Mosque

Such decision could trigger off religious tensions

GENEVA, March 18, (KUNA): Kuwait on Monday stressed its full rejection of recent calls for sharing of supervision over Al-Aqsa Mosque and Israel’s control over it.

This came in a speech by Kuwait’s permanent representative to the United Nations (UN) and other international organizations in Geneva, Ambassador Jamal Al-Ghunaim, during UN Human Rights Council of discussion of Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Sharing the supervision of the mosque could trigger off religious tensions, especially with continued intentional and unprecedented Israeli provocations, the last of which was the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque, Al-Ghunaim said. Kuwait is surprised at international silence toward Israel’s policies in providing political and economic incentives to encourage its residents to settle illegally in the occupied territories, he added. Israel’s continued Judaization of the city of Jerusalem, changing its religious and historical landmarks, and the continuation of diggings beneath Al-Aqsa Mosque, are a clear and frank violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, Al-Gunaim stressed. He also expressed Kuwait’s condemnation of the attacks on the Palestinian people, and the violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law by the Israeli army.

Al-Ghunaim affirmed Kuwait’s keenness to grant legitimate rights for Palestinian citizens in establishing an independent and sovereign Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital under relevant UN resolutions. Kuwait also called on the international community to ensure respect for the principles and provisions of international law and international humanitarian law in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, especially as Israel insists on breaking international resolutions, he added.

It also called for commitment to resolutions that include the release of thousands of prisoners, lifting of the unjust siege imposed on the Gaza Strip and the re-opening of crossings, as well as the ending of military checkpoints inside the Palestinian territory, he said. Last November, Kuwait provided an exceptional contribution of USD 42.1 million to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), raising the total Kuwaiti contributions to the UNRWA budget to USD 50 million in 2018, the Kuwaiti diplomat added.

This donation refl ects Kuwait’s continued commitment to support UNRWA’s work in protecting the rights of Palestinian refugees, he said. Some Western countries called for the cancellation of the seventh article on the agenda of the council, which aimed at discussing Israeli violations in the occupied Arab territories, including East Jerusalem, but the Islamic and Arab blocs in the council, supported by African, Asian and South American countries, always abort these attempts.

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