UNESCO votes to condemn Israel's presence in Jerusalem

UNESCO votes to condemn Israel's presence in Jerusalem

5 - The resolution forbids Israel to carry out "excavations, tunneling, works and projects in East Jerusalem, particularly in and around the Old City of Jerusalem".

At a ceremony at Israel's Har Herzl national cemetery in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said Palestinian killers "nursed incitement against our people with their mother's milk" and were regarded as heroes in their society for carrying out heinous attacks against Israelis.

The resolution, which UNESCO brought up for a vote on Israel's Independence Day, was backed by the Palestinian Authority and calls on the Jewish state to reject any sovereignty in the city of Jerusalem.

He pointed to the failure of the intense Israeli campaign against the draft resolutions on Palestine and Jerusalem in UNESCO, and the failure of all those who supported undermining these resolutions from countries, groups, institutions and individuals.

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Netanyahu dismissed the resolution, which passed by 22 votes to 10, with 23 abstentions.

That resolution acknowledged that the city of Jerusalem is holy to Judaism, Islam, and Christianity but fails to mention the Temple Mount's significance to Jews. The Old City also houses major Christian shrines.

Twenty-two states voted in favor of the decision, which refers to Israel as an occupying power and declares all its legislative and administrative measures in Jerusalem "null and void".

Last year, the UNESCO approved a motion that endorses the right of the Palestinians to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound and slams Israeli provocations around the holy site.

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The Palestinian "martyrs' fund" makes monthly payments to about 35,000 families of Palestinians killed and wounded in the long-running conflict with Israel, and says the money amounts to welfare payments to help victims of Israel's occupation.

"Our opinion is very clear: UNESCO can't become the headquarters of a permanent ideological clash in which questions are faced for which the solutions are supposed to be handled in other headquarters", Alfano was quoted as saying by the Italian news agency ANSA.

Israeli authorities announced on Friday that the country meant to build 15,000 new settlement houses in East Jerusalem despite President Donald Trump's earlier call for holding back new settlement activities for a possible new effort to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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