Advisory to Journalists Visiting the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound

Media Brief
September 02, 2015

It has been brought to the attention of the PLO Negotiations Affairs Department that there is an ongoing attempt by Israeli governmental and non-governmental organizations to organize visits to the sacred Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound, with a focus on foreign media. We hereby urge the foreign press not to accept or participate in tours that are part of Israel’s campaign to change the historical narrative of Occupied East Jerusalem, and particularly its religious sites.

In previous media advisories, the PLO Negotiations Affairs Department issued an advisory concerning the use of the inaccurate term "Temple Mount" to refer to Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in Jerusalem. The advisory urged "All international media representatives to adhere to international law and correct any other existing terminology used. The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound is not a disputed territory and all other terms, therefore, are null and void". 

By participating in these tours, foreign media is legitimizing and encouraging the daily violations committed by Israeli Occupation Forces against Palestinians, including incitement, hate speech, the denial of freedom of worship at Muslim and Christian holy sites, as well as denial of the presence, identity, and traditions of Palestinian Muslims and Christians in the occupied Palestinian capital.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound, as with the Old City of Jerusalem as a whole, is an integral part of the Occupied State of Palestine in accordance with International law and UN resolutions.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound is a holy site administered by the Jerusalem Awqaf (Endowments) Department in Jerusalem. Hence we urge the representatives of the foreign press to contact this department to request historical and factual guided- tours.

While Israel continually closes the Al-Aqsa mosque gates to Muslim worshipers, Jewish extremists, aided by the Israeli occupation forces, periodically raid and attack the Muslim worshipers. We urge the international media not to be indirectly complicit in these acts by participating in unauthorized tours and incorrect language aimed at changing the historical narrative of Jerusalem.

 "If the occupation is not brought to an end, the situation on the ground will deteriorate even further and the “city of peace” will remain a ticking bomb."

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