UNESCO to send fact-finding mission to Jerusalem, Palestine

Momani says King’s efforts ‘decisive’ in obtaining the resolution

Jordan Times

AMMAN — Minister of State for Media Affairs and Government Spokesperson Mohammad Momani on Friday highlighted the efforts of His Majesty King Abdullah describing them as “decisive” in a decision taken earlier in the day by UNESCO, endorsing a draft resolution submitted by the Arab group at the organisation’s meeting in Paris.

UNESCO Executive Board overwhelmingly voted for Arab draft resolution calling for dispatching fact-finding commissions to Jerusalem to investigate the situation on the ground there.

Forty-three countries voted for the draft resolutions, while only the US rejected, with 12 abstentions mostly from among European members, it was reported.

In remarks to the Jordan News Agency,Petra, Momani said that the Jordanian diplomacy, led by King Abdullah “succeeded in cooperation and coordinate with the State of Palestine in mobilising support for the resolutions that were endorsed by the majority of world countries…”

According to Momani, the board responded positively to requests by Jordan and Palestine to investigate the situation of heritage sites in Jerusalem and in other Palestinian towns like Bilal Bin Rabah Mosque in Bethlehem and the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, along with destroyed school buildings in Gaza, as a result of an Israeli offensive late 2008.

The Hashemite dynasty of Jordan is the official custodian of holy sites in East Jerusalem, which Israel occupied in 1967 and annexed immediately, a move never recognised by the world.

In 1981, the Kingdom succeeded in adding Old Jerusalem to UNESCO’s World Heritage List and the World Heritage in Danger list in the following year.

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