Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Melania’s jacket: What did it mean?

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

South Sudan peace deal attempt fails as Kiir rejects Machar

Read more

THE DEBATE

Zero Tolerance: Does Border Security Trump Compassion?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Let's become French!

Read more

FOCUS

Taking sides: The dual-nationality footballers playing at the World Cup

Read more

FASHION

Dior trots out Cruise collection at Chantilly stables

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

France's Pelagos sanctuary, a haven for whales and dolphins

Read more

#THE 51%

Developing a code of their own: Are women leading the tech revolution in Paris?

Read more

#TECH 24

Motorsport innovation

Read more

Middle East

Israel suspends cooperation with UNESCO over east Jerusalem

© HAZEM BADER, AFP | A Palestinian woman takes a picture of her daughter wearing traditional outfits on the Temple Mount, or Al-Aqsa compound, in east Jerusalem, on September 12, 2016

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2016-10-15

Israel suspended cooperation with UNESCO on Friday after the UN cultural organisation adopted two resolutions on annexed east Jerusalem ahead of a final vote next week.

In a letter sent to UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova, Education Minister Naftali Bennett accused the body of ignoring "thousands of years of Jewish ties to Jerusalem" and aiding "Islamist terror". 

"I have notified the Israel National Commission for UNESCO to suspend all professional activities with the international organisation," he said.

The resolutions refer to "Occupied Palestine" and aim to "safeguard the Palestinian cultural heritage and the distinctive character of East Jerusalem", according to a text seen by AFP.

Israel suspends cooperation with UNESCO

Israel is referred to throughout as the "occupying power".

The terms are the same as those used in a resolution mid-April by UNESCO's Executive Board.

On that occasion, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the resolution as "yet another absurd UN decision" that "ignores the unique historic connection of Judaism to the Temple Mount" by referring to the site by its Arabic name, the Al-Aqsa mosque compound.

However, a Palestinian diplomatic source said the new resolutions submitted refer to the "importance of Jerusalem's Old City and its walls for the three monotheistic religions".

France, which was strongly criticised by Israel for supporting the controversial resolution in April, abstained on Thursday.

The Temple Mount, or Al-Aqsa compound, in east Jerusalem, which was taken by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed in a move not recognised internationally, has long been a flashpoint in the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Date created : 2016-10-14

  • ISRAEL

    UNESCO criticises Israeli handling of Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque

    Read more

  • DIPLOMACY

    Israel to freeze UNESCO funding over Palestinian membership

    Read more

  • UNITED NATIONS

    US, Israel lose UNESCO voting rights for halting funds

    Read more

COMMENT(S)