Israel to withhold $1M in funding after UNESCO vote

"Today there are more countries abstaining or supporting Israel than countries against Israel".

"There is a price for harassment", he said.

"In wake of the resolution, I have instructed Foreign Ministry Director General Yuval Rotem to deduct $1 million from the funds that Israel transfers to the UN".

Gaza, (Alresalah.ps)- The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has approved a resolution that describes Israel as an "occupying power" and rejects its sovereignty claims over all of Jerusalem al-Quds. Altogether, only $2.7 million of the original $10.7 million will be given to the worldwide body.

The resolution, tabled by Qatar, Egypt, Lebanon, Algeria, Morocco, Oman, and Sudan, was passed 22-10 with 23 abstentions.

Israel's envoy to Unesco Carmel Shama-Hacohen was more cautious, telling Israeli media the country would need to "weigh the issue carefully" before deciding how to respond.

Last October, UNESCO adopted a similar resolution, which strongly condemned "the escalating Israeli aggression and illegal measures against... the freedom of worship and Muslims' access to their holy site al-Aqsa Mosque/al-Haram al-Sharif". He noted that the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Greece, Italy and the Netherlands all voted no, and that India abstained.

"Our opinion is very clear", Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said.

It also reaffirmed "the importance of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls for the three monotheistic religions".

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan thanked the countries that voted against the resolution.

"You are on the right side of history and the truth", he tweeted. "It is a sad decision without any standing or validity that will find its way to the dustbin of history, just like allegations that Zionism is racism". It is a blatant anti-Semitic statement.

"No one, including UNESCO, can rewrite Jewish history".

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President Sirleaf prayed that, while the State of Israel is commemorating this year's Independence Anniversary, the Almighty God will continue to endow His Excellency Mr. Rivlin with abundant wisdom and strength as he leads his people to greater heights.

"You have been born into a reality where Jerusalem is the capital city of Israel and you don't know any other reality".

UNESCO's headquarters in Paris.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, for his part, said the resolution revealed UNESCO's "ludicrous and anti-Israel nature".

The organization's executive board made the declaration in a resolution it passed on Tuesday. "Rather than support Jerusalem, they choose to side with our enemies".

Jewish groups also slammed the resolution. If the USA should recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel outside of a peace agreement it would likely result in conflict over the disputed territory. Such a solution can only be achieved through direct negotiations between the parties.

Relations between Unesco and Israel have been rocky since.

Senior Israeli foreign ministry officials expressed their "bitter disappointment" over the vote in their talk with Swedish ambassador Nesser, noting Sweden's "systematic voting" pattern against Israel, a statement read. He called the resolution "delusional".

Hillel Neuer, who heads the watchdog group UN Watch, tweeted that despite the outcome, Israel won a "moral victory" in the voting process.

The world has chosen to "stand on the side of what is right in the face of [Israel's] injustice, occupation and its illegitimate policies", he said.

"It is time to put an end to the absurd".

Palestinians seek eastern Jerusalem as their future capital. De facto, not just de jure.

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