In an apparent diplomatic defeat, the Palestinians rescinded their demand to have the Western Wall declared a Palestinian site.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) on Tuesday night rescinded their proposal to UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) to declare the Kotel, Western Wall, part of the Muslim Al Aqsa mosque, Carmel Shama Hacohen, Israel’s ambassador to UNESCO, told Israel Radio Wednesday.
He revealed that the initial proposal had met with opposition from a range of countries including Russia, China and even Cuba.
UNESCO’s chief Irina Bokova on Tuesday deplored the draft resolution in which member states Algeria, Egypt, Kuwait, Morocco, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates declare that “the Buraq Plaza (their name for the Western Wall) is an integral part of the Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al-Sharif.”
The resolution also includes a long list of allegations and condemnations against Israel.
The proposal was met with irate responses from Jewish organizations, as well as from the State of Israel, whose Deputy Foreign Minister, Tzipi Hotovely, called the resolution another “shameful and deceitful attempt” to rewrite history, adding that “the Temple Mount and the Western Wall in Jerusalem are the cornerstones of Jewish history. They are historical facts no one can dispute.”
The strongest push against the incendiary proposal came from the US State Department, whose spokesman Edgar Vasquez told The Jerusalem Post that “the United States strongly opposes this resolution and any such use of international fora such as UNESCO to inflame tension in the region and alter the status quo at the holy sites. … The United States is in close, urgent consultation with UNESCO member states, UNESCO leadership and Israel to discuss this matter. One-sided anti-Israel resolutions have been a recurring challenge at UNESCO since 2009, and in all such circumstances, the United States has blocked consensus on such resolutions by calling for a vote and voting against the texts.”
By: United with Israel Staff
JNi.Media contributed to this report.
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