The Temple Mount issue, which caused great uproar previously, will not be mentioned but the resolution will condemn Israeli activity in East Jerusalem and Gaza. Israeli sources noted that the wording was softened and called it a “significant achievement for the Foreign Ministry and Israeli diplomacy in one of the most difficult and hostile arenas for Israel.”
Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
After a series of UNESCO resolutions against Israel, a resolution that was supposed to be voted on in about a month was softened, although it still condemns the State of Israel. The main change is that the Temple Mount and the Western Wall won’t be mentioned in the new version and won’t be voted on in the beginning of May, when UNESCO will vote on the issue of “Jerusalem, Gaza and Judea and Samaria.”
The resolution was submitted by Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan. It was titled “Occupied Palestine.” According to the wording of the resolution, UNESCO “reaffirms the importance of the Old City of Jerusalem and its walls for the three monotheistic religions.” On the other hand, the resolution considers Israel to be an illegal “occupying power” in Jerusalem.
In addition, the resolution calls upon Israel to lift the Gaza blockade and condemns military confrontations in the coastal strip for the injury that they cause to civilians including Palestinian children. Regarding Bethlehem and Hebron, the resolution recognizes the religious significance of these two cities in Judaism, Christianity and Islam but at the same time, it condemns the existence of the Security Barrier surrounding Rachel’s Tomb and the construction of Israeli infrastructure in the area.
Israeli sources called this a “significant achievement for the Foreign Ministry and Israeli diplomacy in one of the most difficult and hostile arenas for Israel.” However, the new wording includes “false political components that have no place in any international organization and for sure not in one dealing with education and culture.” Nevertheless, the Arab countries considered the new wording to be a step backwards.