Israel Criticizes UNESCO Resolution on Yerushalayim

Mexican, Diplomat, UNESCO Resolution
The facade of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) headquarters in Paris. (Loic Venance/AFP/Getty Images)

Israel has lashed out at the U.N. cultural agency over a resolution criticizing its excavations in and around Yerushalayim’s Old City.

The UNESCO resolution, tabled by several Arab countries and approved on Tuesday, calls on Israel, as the “occupying power,” to cease “persistent excavations, tunneling, works and projects in East Jerusalem.”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said there is no people other than the Jews “for whom Jerusalem is so holy and important.”

The UNESCO resolution was adopted, with 22 countries voting in favor, 23 abstaining and 10 opposing. Three members were absent at the time of the vote.

The U.S., Italy, the U.K., the Netherlands, Lithuania, Greece, Paraguay, Ukraine, Togo and Germany all voted against the resolution.

The resolution also criticizes the Israeli government for various construction projects in the Old City of Yerushalayim and in Chevron, and calls for an end to Israel’s blockade of Gaza without mentioning attacks from the Hamas-run Strip.