The United Nations’ cultural committee has approved proposal submitted by Arab states rejecting Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem and condemning it for conducting excavations in the Old City.
A committee of the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO) convened in Krakow Tuesday where it approved the wording of a Jordanian-sponsored resolution denying that Israel is the sovereign power over Jerusalem and condemning it for conducting archaeological excavations in the Old City.
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 [al-Quds], particularly in and around the Old City of Jerusalem, which are illegal under international law.”
It further called Israel “the occupying power” and reaffirmed UN resolutions that rejected the regime’s claims to East Jerusalem al-Quds.
The proposal was submitted to the UN body’s Cultural Committee by Arab states who originally presented a much harsher version which was formulated together with the Palestinians. However, pressure exerted by Israel forced the proposal to be watered down.
Ten states supported the proposal, among them Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Lebanon, Tunisia, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Turkey, Vietnam, Zimbabwe and Cuba. Three voted against the proposal, including The Philippines, Jamaica and Burkina Faso.
Another eight countries from several continents abstained. They included, Angola, Croatia, Finland, Peru, Poland, Portugal, South Korea and Tanzania, according to media reports.
Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds during the Six-Day War in 1967. It later annexed East Jerusalem al-Quds in a move not recognized by the international community.
Last year, UNESCO adopted a similar resolution, titled Occupied Palestine and sponsored by several Arab countries.