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Herzog Rejects Arabs’ Charge That Israel Defiles Mosque in Old Jerusalem

Chaim Herzog, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, declared that Israel protects every historical site in Jerusalem. He rejected Arab charges that Israeli activities in the Old City encroach upon Moslem holy places.

In a letter to Secretary General Kurt Waldheim on May 31, circulated here today, Herzog referred to two letters of complaints by Jordan and one letter by Morocco addressed to Waldheim charging Israel with carrying out a plan to run a road through the Aboul Ghouth Mosque. Herzog said that “unlike the government of Jordan whose authorities in Jerusalem for 19 years between 1948 and 1967 had engaged in the systematic destruction of synagogues in the Jewish quarter of the Old City,” Israel respects all places “held sacred by members of the different religions.” The Israeli envoy said that the road referred to by the Arabs was dug “at a distance of 20 meters” from the Mosque.