Palestinian Authority takes hard hit at UN

Victory for Israel: United Nations World Tourism Organization delays decision on PA membership by two years.

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Nitsan Keidar,

Yariv Levin
Yariv Levin
Yonatan Sindel, Flash 90

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) on Wednesday afternoon announced its decision to delay by two years the decision on whether or not to accept the Palestinian Authority as a full member.

According to the statement, the discussion will be held at a regular UNWTO meeting in two years.

Israel worked diplomatically via the Foreign Ministry, Tourism Ministry, and international relations to prevent UNWTO from approving the PA's request.

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin (Likud) emphasized that since the PA is not a sovereign country, it has no right to UNWTO membership.

A recent UNWTO report noted that Palestinian Authority as being the "country" with the most rapidly growing tourist industry in the world, citing a 57.8% rise in tourism in Israel's Judea and Samaria regions. The report also claimed Israel experienced a 25.1% increase in tourism.

Over the past several years, the PA has worked to fight Israel via the UN and its various organizations. As a result, UNESCO in May passed a resolution denying Israel's rights to Jerusalem, and in July declared the Cave of the Patriarchs to be a "Palestinian heritage site." In October 2016, UNESCO published its decision that Israel has no rights to Jerusalem, and that Jews have no connection to the Western Wall and Temple Mount.