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UNESCO board unanimously adopts decision on Jerusalem’s Old City, walls

By JT - Oct 13,2021 - Last updated at Oct 13,2021

A view of the entrance to the Dome of the Rock in the Al Haram Al Sharif compound in the Old City of Jerusalem (Photo by Ahed Taha)

AMMAN — UNESCO’s Executive Board, during its 212th session, unanimously adopted a decision on the Old City of Jerusalem and its walls.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Haitham Abulfoul said that adopting the decision followed Jordan’s diplomatic efforts in coordination with the Palestine, Arab and Islamic groups at the UN agency, according to a ministry statement.

Abulfoul noted that the decision stresses the Jordanian stance on the Old City of Jerusalem and its walls, including the Islamic and Christian holy sites. He added that the decision reiterated considering all Israeli procedures to change the identity and legal status quo as null and void.

The decision also calls on Israel to halt all of its unilateral illegal violations and procedures against Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif and in the Old City of Jerusalem and its walls, the spokesperson added.

He pointed out that the decision stresses the 20 decisions of the Executive Board and the 11 decisions of the World Heritage Committee on Jerusalem, which all expressed concern surrounding the failure of Israel, in its capacity as an occupying force, to halt its digging, construction of tunnels and other illegal actions in East Jerusalem.

Abulfoul also said that the decision stresses the gains of previous decisions, mainly adopting the names of Al Aqsa Mosque and Al Haram Al Sharif as synonyms for the same place. He noted that a report by the UNESCO director general referred to the letters the Kingdom and Palestine sent to the organisation on the violations in the Old City of Jerusalem.

The decision also called for speeding up procedures to appoint a permanent representative for the directorate general in the Old City of Jerusalem. The representative would monitor all procedures under the organisation’s jurisdiction, in addition to sending an interactive monitoring mission from UNESCO to Jerusalem to monitor all of Israel’s violations, which is an occupying force under international law.

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