Executive board of UN’s Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) on Tuesday passed a resolution describing Jerusalem an “occupied” city.
UNESCO adopted the resolution with 22 member states voting in favour, ten voting against and 23 abstaining.
The resolution states that Jerusalem’s Old City is “entirely Palestinian” and stresses its historical “Muslim and Christian” heritage.
In addition, the resolution also describes Israel as an “occupying power” that has no sovereignty over the holy city.
Moreover, the resolution affirms the Islamic character of Al-Ibrahimi Mosque in the West Bank city of Al-Khalil and Rachel’s Tomb in the city Bethlehem.
Abdulatif al-Qanou, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza, told Anadolu Agency that the UNESCO resolution refuted Israeli claims on Jerusalem and Palestinian territory.
Citing ongoing Israeli settlement expansion in East Jerusalem, Qanou called on the Muslim world and the international community to recognise and practice the terms of the resolution.
Meanwhile, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the UNESCO resolution as “absurd.”
“There are more countries today that are abstaining or supporting Israel than there are those opposing Israel,” Netanyahu said. “But my goal is to have no votes in UNESCO on Israel… We [Israel] do not believe in UNESCO.”
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 war. It unilaterally annexed the entire city in 1980, claiming it as its “eternal and undivided” capital in a move never recognised by the international community.