Israel criticizes UN cultural agency resolution on Jerusalem

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"Once again UNESCO member states tried to deny the historical connection of the Jewish people to Israel", he told the Washington Examiner.

5 - The resolution forbids Israel to carry out "excavations, tunneling, works and projects in East Jerusalem, particularly in and around the Old City of Jerusalem".

Yesterday, on the eve of Remembrance Day for the Fallen of Israel's Wars and Victims of Terrorism (Yom Hazikaron in Hebrew), a new $25 million national Hall of Remembrance dedicated to fallen soldiers was unveiled on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, where Israel's national cemetery and other memorial and educational facilities are located.

Netanyahu dismissed the resolution, which passed by 22 votes to 10, with 23 abstentions. It also notes that The Patriarchs' Cave and Rachel's Tomb in Hebron "are of religious significance for Judaism, Christianity and Islam" - though it calls them "Palestinian sites".

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Furthermore, Resolution 201 EX/PX/DR.30.1 affirms "the importance of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls for the three monotheistic religions".

Twenty-two states voted in favor of the decision, which refers to Israel as an occupying power and declares all its legislative and administrative measures in Jerusalem "null and void".

The United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization on Tuesday passed a resolution demanding that Israel disavow Jerusalem as its capital.

President Reuven Rivlin, in his own video message, recalled that "69 years ago, in the moments just after [Prime Minister] David Ben-Gurion declared the birth of the state of Israel, we all went out to dance in the streets".

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Elias Wadih Sanbar, the Palestinian ambassador to UNESCO, said Tuesday's resolution was part of efforts to "stop giving a kind of blank check to an occupier that is acting with total illegality and impunity".

Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said he had instructed the country's representative at UNESCO to vote against what he called "the latest politicized resolution on Jerusalem".

While Israel has long pressed nations to move their embassies to Jerusalem, which both the Israelis and Palestinians claim as their capital, nations have largely resisted taking the step out of fears it could undermine the peace process and lead to violence in the region.

Like most countries, the US maintains its embassy in Tel Aviv because Israelis and Palestinians have competing claims to Jerusalem.

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