Momani: King’s directives were crucial for UNESCO’s adoption of decisions condemning Israeli violations in Jerusalem

04-10-2013 11:02 PM

Ammon News - (Petra) - State Minister for Media Affairs and Communications Mohammad Momani said directives of His Majesty King Abdullah II were crucial for the adoption of the UNESCO’s Executive Board of six decisions strongly deploring the Israeli aggressions against the cultural and historical heritage of Jerusalem. In a statement to Petra, Momani said the Jordanian diplomacy led by the King succeeded in cooperation with the State of Palestine and the Arab and Islamic group, in rallying support for the decisions which were supported by the majority of world countries.

He said the Hashemite custody of the holy places in Jerusalem stems from the historical, religious and humanitarian duty, adding that Jordan will continue exerting political, diplomatic and legal efforts to protect the holy shrines from the Israeli aggression and violation.

The UNESCO 192nd Session of the Executive Board 58 Members voted today in majority in favor of six decisions strongly deploring the Israeli aggressions against the cultural and historical heritage of Jerusalem, Hebron, Bethlehem and Gaza.

Jerusalem and its old wall were added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site List in 1981 and to the List of World Heritage in Danger in 1982 Extremely frustrated by the Israeli aggressions against Jerusalem heritage and specifically against the Holy Sites, Jordanian and Palestinian delegations, in close cooperation with the Arab and Islamic countries, led a successful drive to get the adoption of the strong language of the decisions. While a few European state members (mainly UK and Italy) abstained from voting in favor of the decisions, the United States was the only country to vote against all the decisions among 58 countries, who have the right to vote.

The decisions express deep concern about the continuing Israeli Occupation illegal excavations in and around the Old City and its Walls. They strongly deplore Israel for not providing UNESCO with information about these secret and damaging excavations and for banning UNESCO experts from access to Jerusalem historic sites.

The EX requests Israel to immediately desist from all acts, omissions and the harmful excavations and asks Israel to stop all violations that damage the authenticity and integrity of the Old City of Jerusalem, especially the recent escalatory measures that have been taken against al-Aqsa Mosque and the obstruction of the Jordanian Awqaf’s conservation of the Holy Sites.

The decisions also deplore the Israeli religious-extremist groups' provocative incursions into Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound through the Magharbeh Gate, and demand the Israeli Occupation to take the necessary measures to prevent such abuses that violate the sanctity and integrity of al-Aqsa.

The UNESCO delegations have been very busy with the question of how the international community can pressure Israel to commit to the international law and the Geneva Conventions that call for the occupation power to respect authenticity and integrity of occupied heritage property.

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