The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (better known as UNESCO), has adopted a resolution that states that the Temple Mount and holy sites in Hebron and Bethlehem are an “integral part of Palestine.”
The UN agency goes as far as to call “the occupying power” out for planting fake graves in Muslim cemeteries in order to prevent Muslims from burying their dead in the remaining spaces, calling on Israel to stop “banning Muslims from burying their dead in some spaces and by planting Jewish fake graves in other spaces of the Muslim cemeteries.”
The resolution appears to give credence to the claim made by the Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage in 2002. Israeli authorities also destroyed Muslim graves in a Jerusalem cemetery, claiming that these were fake.
The resolution also criticized the renovation of “so-called Jewish ritual baths.”
The Cave of Patriarchs and Rachel’s Tomb are explicitly named “Palestinian sites” according to the resolution.
UNESCO “reaffirms that the two concerned sites located in… Hebron and in Bethlehem are an integral part of Palestine” and “disapproves the ongoing Israeli illegal excavations, works, construction of private roads for settlers and a separation wall inside the Old City of… Hebron, that harmfully affect the integrity of the site…” and “strongly condemns the Israeli aggressions and illegal measures against the freedom of worship and Muslims’ access to their Holy Site Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al Sharif, and requests Israel, the Occupying Power, to respect the historic Status Quo and to immediately stop these measures.”
UNESCO also criticised “the continuous Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip,”which causes an “intolerable number of casualties among Palestinian children,” as well as “the attacks on schools and other educational and cultural facilities and the denial of access to education.”
“This is yet another absurd UN decision,” said Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu in response to the resolution.“UNESCO ignores the unique historic connection of Judaism to the Temple Mount, where the two temples stood for a thousand years and to which every Jew in the world has prayed for thousands of years. The UN is rewriting a basic part of human history and has again proven that there is no low to which it will not stoop.”
The Israeli government described the resolution as “hideous” and wrote letters to the 33 countries that signed the resolution. These included countries with close ties to Israel, such as “China, Egypt, France, India, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, Spain and Vietnam” according to JPost. The UK and US abstained from the vote according to Al Jazeera.
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