UNESCO approves Arab resolution criticizing Israel
On Wednesday, a resolution from a group of Arab states was approved by the United Nations cultural body in which Israel has been criticized for failing to protect the rebuild region and heritage sites, which were destroyed by the war.
At the last minute, final version of the draft was changed to remove the points which were controversial saying that, “the Western Wall in Jerusalem, the holiest site at which Jews can pray, is an “integral part” of the Al-Aqsa mosque compound.”
On Wednesday, Israel had criticized the new resolution and had denounced the clause saying, “a clear endeavor to distort history.”
The flash point compound which is located in the southeastern corner of the old city in the Israeli-occupied east Jerusalem, which is also considered as most sacred to both the Judaism and Islam.
Jews revere it as the Temple mount which has housed the first and second temples and Muslims call it as Al Haram Al Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary).
Clashes between the Palestinian protesters and the Israeli police in September at the compound are thought widely to have led to the current wave of the deadly violence in the Palestinian and Israel territories.
On Wednesday the resolutions was approved, which was drafted by the United Arab Emirates, Tunisia, Morocco, Kuwait, Egypt and Algeria, has condemned the Israeli attack on the compound which included the restricted access to the Muslim worshipers last month during the Eid celebrations on the security grounds.
25 members abstained, and it was supported by the 26 of the 58 member countries on Unesco’s executive board.
The United States, Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Estonia, and one member was absent: the six countries opposed it.
The resolution has, “deeply deplores the recent repression in East Jerusalem, and the failure of Israel, the Occupying Power, to cease the persistent excavations and works in East Jerusalem particularly in and around the Old City.”
It has also called for them, “prompt reconstruction of schools, universities, cultural heritage sites, cultural institutions, media centers and places of worship that have been destroyed or damaged by the consecutive Israeli wars on Gaza.”
The resolution was criticized by the Israeli interior minister Silvan Shalom on a visit to the Paris.
Shalom told the press conference while referring to the fact that Arab states have frequently teamed up for the resolution against the country, “Unesco is a very, very hostile organisation towards Israel. Unfortunately most of the votes are against Israel.”
He said that, “Israel would remain firmly opposed to the idea of introducing new inspectors at the Temple Mount, as demanded by previous resolutions.”
“We are the ones who keep the status quo there,” and “”We give full access to everyone to go to their own holy sites.”
He added that, “We can realize what would happen if it went into the hands of the Palestinians, like what happened recently in the tomb of Joseph which was burned two times in the past week and the Palestinians are in charge.”