Arab envoy said to apologize to Israel for UNESCO decision

The Al Ibrahimi mosque often has heavy Israeli military presence around it. Mussa Qawasma  Reuters

The Al Ibrahimi mosque often has heavy Israeli military presence around it. Mussa Qawasma Reuters

Prime Minister Netanyahu on erev Shabbos, issued the following statement about the UNESCO decision: "This is another delusional UNESCO decision".

Netanyahu said at the time the "absurd" vote denied the Jewish connection to the city.

He tweeted: "This irrelevant organisation promotes FAKE HISTORY".

In a vote that took place in Krakow, Poland, the UN's cultural agency passed the resolution by 12 votes to three with six abstentions.

"They want to make sure that there will be an worldwide forum to monitor the situation in Hebron and the Cave of the Patriarchs that will prevent Israel from future transgressions or overstepping its current presence in the city", Reiter said.

The resolution was fast-tracked on the basis that the site was under threat, with Palestinians accusing Israel of an "alarming" number of violations, including vandalism and damage to properties.

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Rejecting the vote, the spokesperson for Israel's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Emmanuel Nahshon, took to Twitter after the decision to condemn the UNESCO outcome as a promotion of "lies".

Like with its earlier targeting of Israel this week over Jerusalem, the UNESCO committee has allowed its work to become tainted by politicization.

Much of the surrounding area in the Old City is made up of old stone buildings and narrow alleyways dating back to the Mamluk Period around the 13th and 14th centuries.

The old market of the divided West Bank city of Hebron, seen on July 7. He went on to list the names of biblical figures that Jews believe are buried there.

Hebron's Old City is home to about 800 Israeli settlers, who move about freely under army protection, while thousands of Palestinians are subjected to harsh military rule, roadblocks and checkpoints. The resolution also criticized the Israeli government for its archaeological projects in the capital and in Hebron.

Hebron, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, is home to at least 200,000 Palestinians and hundreds Israeli settlers.

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The cultural arm of the United Nations took the unusual decision to hold the vote - which resulted in a 12-3 outcome with six abstentions - in secret.

"As an afterthought, I probably brought dishonor to my toilet by comparing it to this decision", Shama-Hacohen said.

The United Nations has urged Israel to abide by global law as it reactivates charges against a prominent Palestinian human rights defender.

"This is an ugly display of discrimination & an act of aggression against the Jewish people".

Moreover, the resolutions harm UNESCO and its world heritage committee, and cast a shadow upon the reputation of the United Nations as a whole.

UN Watch is alarmed that the world body to protect cultural heritage was hijacked for the second time this week by a cynical, divisive and politicized campaign waged by the Palestinians, backed by the Arab bloc, Cuba and other dictatorships.

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Generally, votes to inscribe sites onto UNESCO's World Heritage List are usually done by a show of hands among all the member states.

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