The Jordanian-sponsored resolution by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization’s World Heritage Council (UNESCO) on Tuesday evening named Israel as the “occupying power” in the Old City of Jerusalem.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry said in response that the resolution cannot change the fact that Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish people: “Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people, and no decision by UNESCO can change that reality. It is sad, unnecessary and pathetic. It is worth noting that the decision didn’t even get a majority of votes”.
The resolution slammed “the failure of the Israeli occupying authorities to cease the persistent excavations, tunnelling, works, projects and other illegal practices in East Jerusalem, particularly in and around the Old City of Jerusalem, which are illegal under international law”.
Jamaica, the Philippines and Burkina Faso opposed the resolution, and eight countries: Angola, Croatia, Finland, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Tanzania and South Korea abstained from the vote. The other ten countries who voted in favour of the legislation, alongside the Palestinian representatives, were Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Tunisia, Turkey, Vietnam, Cuba and Zimbabwe.
Israel’s UN envoy Danny Danon maintained that nothing can sever the bonds between the Jewish people and Jerusalem, and said that “nothing is more disgraceful than UNESCO declaring the world’s only Jewish state the ‘occupier’ of the Western Wall and Jerusalem’s Old City”.