UNESCO headquarters in Paris
UNESCO headquarters in ParisiStock

Israel’s Foreign Ministry blasted the UN’s cultural agency, UNESCO, after it passed a resolution on the Gaza war which was critical of Israel but failed to condemn Hamas.

"Israel rejects with disgust the one-sided resolution taken by UNESCO today regarding the situation in Gaza," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lior Haiat said in a statement on Friday.

“The resolution totally ignores the October 7 massacre by Hamas terrorists, who brutally murdered about 1200 people in cold blood, and kidnapped 240 including babies, children, women, and the elderly,” he said.

“The resolution gives the green light to the Hamas terrorist organization, which is worse than ISIS, to continue to murder and kidnap as well as to continue to use the residents of the Gaza Strip as human shields,” continued Haiat.

“UNESCO is cooperating in the distortion of basic facts and in massacre denial in the service of extremist governments and supporters of terrorism. UNESCO, which dedicated a moment of silence only in memory of Palestinian victims, is an organization that has an inherent moral failing and should be ashamed of itself and of its debates.”

“Israel thanks the countries that supported it and the amendments proposed by the United States, and opposed the Arab group's resolution,” concluded Haiat.

The UNESCO resolution approved on Friday calls for the “immediate cessation of all attacks on Palestinians, especially children, women, youth, teachers, and all those working in the field of education.”

Israel has had a contentious relationship with UNESCO, which has approved several anti-Israel resolutions in recent years.

In September, the UN agency approved a resolution stating that a site in ancient Jericho is a "Palestinian world heritage site".

In 2018, UNESCO approved a resolution declaring that the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem are "an integral part of the Occupied Palestinian territory."

Previous resolutions referred to the Jewish state as "the occupying power" in Jerusalem. Another declared the Old City of Hebron as a “Palestinian World Heritage site”.

In 2016, UNESCO passed resolutions declaring that Israel has no rights to Jerusalem, and describing the Temple Mount and Old City of Jerusalem as Muslim holy sites.

The Trump administration withdrew from UNESCO in 2017, citing its anti-Israel bias. Israel withdrew from UNESCO in 2019.

The Biden administration reversed Trump’s decision and rejoined UNESCO in July of this year.