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UNESCO to Protect Holy Sites in Jerusalem - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Riyadh- The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted an Arab-sponsored resolution condemning Israel’s actions at a flashpoint holy site in east Jerusalem.

The UNESCO resolution on “occupied Palestine” was endorsed Tuesday by the agency’s executive board at its headquarters in Paris after being approved at the committee stage on Thursday.

The resolution was voted on last Thursday at the committee stage, with 24 votes in favor, six against and 26 abstentions. There were two absentees.

The six countries that were against this resolution were Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, The Netherlands, United Kingdom and United States.

The UNESCO resolution also condemned Israel for restricting Muslim access to the site and for aggression by Israeli police and soldier while also recognizing Israel as the occupying power.

The Palestinian government considered it an important message to Israel that it must end its occupation and recognize the Palestinian state and Jerusalem as its capital with its sacred Muslim and Christian sites.

For his part, Permanent Delegate of Saudi Arabia to UNESCO Ziad Aldrees told Asharq Al-Awsat on Tuesday that this adoption said that some countries saw this resolution as unfair at the time when some countries supported it.

On the other hand, Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said that his country welcomes this decision and considers it a historical achievement for the Islamic Nation.