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UNESCO adopts 6 decisions condemning Israeli violations in occupied Jerusalem
UNESCO adopts 6 decisions condemning Israeli violations in occupied Jerusalem
UNESCO (Photo\Reuters)
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Gaza, ALRAY - UNESCO voted for six decisions condemning the Israeli aggressions against the cultural and historical heritage of occupied Jerusalem, Hebron, Bethlehem and Gaza, Jordan News Agency (Petra) reported.

The vote happened Friday in Paris during the UNESCO's 192nd Session of the Executive Board. 

Jordanian and Palestinian delegations, in close cooperation with the Arab and Islamic countries, led a successful drive to get the adoption of the decisions, added Petra.

A few European state members (mainly UK and Italy) abstained from voting in favor of the decisions, while the United States was the only country to vote against them among the 58 UNESCO members entitled to vote.

The decisions expressed deep concern over the continuing Israeli occupation illegal excavations in and around the Old City and its Walls.

They strongly deplored Israel for not providing UNESCO with information about these secret and damaging excavations and for banning UNESCO experts from access to Jerusalem historic sites.

The Board requested Israel to immediately desist from all acts, omissions and the harmful excavations and asks Israel to stop all violations that damage the authenticity and integrity of the Old City of Jerusalem, especially the recent escalatory measures that have been taken against Al Aqsa Mosque and the obstruction of the Jordanian Awqaf’s conservation of the Holy Sites.

The decisions also deplored the Israeli extremist groups' provocative incursions into Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound through the Magharbeh Gate, and demanded the Israeli occupation to take the necessary measures to prevent such violations of the sanctity and integrity of Al-Aqsa.

The UNESCO delegations have been very busy with the question of how the international community can pressure Israel to commit to the international law and the Geneva Conventions that call for the occupation power to respect authenticity and integrity of occupied heritage property.

Jerusalem and its old wall were added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site List in 1981 and to the List of World Heritage in Danger in 1982.