Published: Sun, May 14, 2017
National | By Rosalie Gross

UNESCO passes Jerusalem resolution critical of Israel


This time, Italy, Britain, Holland, Greece and others also sided with it. "The text has improved substantially compared to previous years".

Tel Aviv- The Israeli government slammed UNESCO on Wednesday over a resolution on Israeli occupation, considering the United Nations organization's move anti-Semitic and threatening to oust it from its east Jerusalem headquarters in the Armon HaNatziv neighborhood. In wake of the resolution, I have instructed Foreign Ministry Director General Yuval Rotem to deduct $1 million from the funds that Israel transfers to the UN.

Separately, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday slammed an "absurd" Unesco resolution he said denied the Jews' historical connection with Jerusalem by presenting Israel as an occupying power there.

March 31 - The White House officially approves Netanyahu's request to build the first new settlement in the Jewish homeland in over 20 years, with the caveat that Israel hold back on additional settlement construction.

Speaking at a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Netanyahu said, "UNESCO again accepted an absurd resolution yesterday about the status of Jerusalem", warning that what he called the agency's "systematic harassment has a price".

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The current draft of the UNESCO resolution declares "everything Israel does in Jerusalem as illegal", according to a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry.

Trump broke with longtime US policy in February when he withheld clear support for an independent Palestine, saying he could endorse a one-nation solution to the conflict. Media reports say that Israel's share of funding to the United Nations will thus this year total around 2.7 million dollars.

Israel and UNESCO had a similar showdown in October after the body passed an Arab-sponsored resolution that criticised the Jewish state for restricting access to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in annexed east Jerusalem.

Sweden is the only European country which voted in favour of the UNESCO resolution.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said that the slimmer vote margin was evidence that global pressure on Israel is ebbing. UNESCO proclaimed that "Israel is occupying Jerusalem". The prime minister also thanked the leaders of Ukraine, Paraguay and Togo for their votes against the resolution. Promises to make the embassy move a first-day-in-office item had evaporated by the time Trump took the oath of office.

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