UNESCO Director-General: "Western Wall is the holiest place in Judaism"

"I have notified the Israeli National Commission for UNESCO to suspend all professional activities with the global organisation", he said. The text refers to the site known by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and by Jews as the Temple Mount only by its Muslim name. "With this absurd resolution, UNESCO has lost what little legitimacy it had left, but I believe that the historical truth is much stronger and truth will prevail".

The Israeli government reacted angrily on Thursday to a United Nations body's resolutions that failed to mention any link between Judaism and its holy sites in Jerusalem.

"The heritage of Jerusalem is indivisible, and each of its communities has a right to the explicit recognition of their history and relationship with the city", Irina Bokova said.

The two resolutions, put forward by several Arab countries including Egypt, Lebanon and Algeria, were adopted Thursday at committee stage by the Paris-based organisation.

Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

The resolution refers to the sites by their Muslim names only and labels Israel as a "occupying power" criticized for its "aggressions and illegal measures" at the Temple Mount, as well as at other holy sites throughout Israel, including the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs in Hebron.

Participants said 24 votes were cast in favour and six against with 26 abstentions and two absentees.

Though it is anticipated that the resolution will pass, Ha'aretz cites a senior Israel foreign ministry official as saying France is expected to keep its promise and abstain from voting, as will Spain, Sweden and Argentina and possibly Slovenia.

"Your decision denies history and encourages terror", Bennett said of the UNESCO resolution.

Jerusalem's Old City was designated a World Heritage site because of its "universal value. which is an appeal for dialogue, not confrontation", Bokova said. A spokesman for Hamas, which is pledged to Israel's destruction, called the resolution a "step in the right direction".

The US also voiced displeasure saying it 'strongly opposed these resolutions'.

The Al Aqsa compound has been a source of religious and political tension for decades between Israel and Palestine, as well as a frequent flashpoint for violence.

Israel captured east Jerusalem during the 1967 war and later annexed it - in a move not recognized by the worldwide community. Israel was required to rescind its control over access to "Al Aqsa Mosque".

The occupied territories have already been the scene of increased tensions ever since Israeli forces imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds in August 2015.

Latest News