Israel Pulls Out Of UN Cultural Agency UNESCO Over Jerusalem

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with US president Donald Trump
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on
Sunday that his country will withdraw from the UN cultural agency UNESCO.
Netanyahu had already announced in October that Israel
would pull out of UNESCO following a decision by President Donald Trump to
withdraw the U.S. from the agency for its alleged “anti-Israel bias.”
A Foreign Ministry spokesman had said Saturday that a
letter of withdrawal will be sent before the start of the new year.
“Over the weekend I instructed the Foreign Ministry to
withdraw from UNESCO,” Netanyahu said at the start of his weekly cabinet
meeting.
“I think that this is necessary in light of the
biased, unilateral and absurd attitude of the organization towards us and also
in the background of the U.S. strong stance in the UN, which we welcome,” he
continued.
Israel has complained that a succession of UNESCO
motions condemning its actions in Jerusalem did not take into account Jewish
links to the city and the disputed holy site known to Muslims as the Noble
Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount.
Earlier in the year, the agency added the old town of
Hebron in the West Bank, a pilgrimage site for Christians, Jews and Muslims,
under its World Heritage Sites in Palestine, sparking outrage in Israel.
Netanyahu’s statement comes as the UN General Assembly
last week overwhelmingly voted to rebuke Washington over its recognition of
Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“Those who do not want a solution to the conflict are
the Palestinians,” Netanyahu said, referring to a statement by Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas that he would not work with the U.S. on any peace
process.
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