Fatah welcomes latest UNESCO resolution

Fatah spokesman praises UNESCO for resolution denying Israeli sovereignty in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Dalit Halevi,

UNESCO headquarters in Paris
UNESCO headquarters in Paris

The Fatah movement, headed by Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas, welcomed Tuesday's UNESCO resolution which denies Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem and condemns.

Commenting on the decision, Fatah's Europe spokesman Jamal Nazzal said that "this organization's vote on this issue is doing historic justice, and also reflects the international position that is opposed to Israel's policy, as well as our position that denies recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the occupation."

The resolution, passed by UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee, refers to Israel “the occupying power” in its capital and denies Israel's claims to the Old City and eastern Jerusalem.

The wording of the Jordanian-sponsored resolution was softened compared to a similar resolution which was passed in 2016, with references to the Temple Mount removed. However, the resolution explicitly denied Israel's sovereignty over parts of its capital for the first time.

The text of the resolution states that UNESCO “regrets the failure of the Israeli occupying authorities to cease the persistent excavations, tunneling, works, projects and other illegal practices in East Jerusalem, particularly in and around the Old City of Jerusalem, which are illegal under international law.”

Tuesday's resolution is not be the first time that UNESCO has targeted Israel. In recent years, the organization has become a platform for Arab states and their allies to attack and delegitimize Israel.

In May, UNESCO passed a resolution declaring Israeli laws and administrative measures regarding Jerusalem to be “null and void”.

In 2016, the World Heritage Committee in UNESCO voted in favor of another Arab-backed resolution declaring the Temple Mount a Muslim holy site.