Senior Hamas official and head of the Jerusalem Palestinian Parliament Ahmad Abu Helbiya praised UNESCO's declaration that there is no connection between Jews and the Temple Mount and called on the UN to investigate "Israeli war crimes" committed against Al-Aqsa mosque.
At a Gaza news conference, Abu Helbiya called UNESCO's decision "brave," since it ignored the "Zionist narrative" proving that there was once a Holy Temple on the Temple Mount. He also called the Temple "imaginary" and claimed there have never been any remnants of a Temple found on the Temple Mount.
As well, Abu Helbiya condemned UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for saying this decision was not in his hands and that he would therefore accept UNESCO's decisions. He claimed Ban's words "supported the Israeli occupation" and demanded Ban apologize to the "Palestinian nation" and the Islamic Arab nation.