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Israel angered by UNESCO decision on holy site

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Israel angered by UNESCO decision on holy site


UNESCO has renewed a resolution criticising Israel for restricting Muslim access to a holy site in east Jerusalem.

The draft text repeatedly refers to the site, known to Jews as Temple Mount and Muslim as al-Aqsa compound by its Muslim names.

It is a move which has angered Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who says it amounts to a denial of Jewish history.

“The theatre of the absurd at UNESCO continues and today the organisation adopted another delusional decision which says that the people of Israel have no connection to the Temple Mount and the Western Wall,” Netanyahu stated.

The holy site, which was taken by Israel in the 1967 six-day war has been the flash point of Israeli-Palestinian violence in recent years.

The motion, put forward by Arab states, was approved by 24 votes, six against and 26 abstentions. Palestinian delegate Mounir Anstas defended the cultural body’s decision.

“Israel pretends that in this decision Palestinians and the Arab group denies the historic and importance of the old city of Jerusalem to the Jewish people, actually if you read the third paragraph of the decision you will see that it starts by the recognition of the historic importance for the three monotheistic religions.”

The draft resolution will be dealt with by the executive board of UNESCO in the next week.

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