UNESCO approves Arab resolution criticizing Israel
JERUSALEM : The final version of the draft resolution was changed at the last minute to remove a controversial clause saying the western wall in Jerusalem , the holiest site at which Jew can pray , is an integral part of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. Israel had denounced the clause as clear endeavour to distort history and criticized the new resolution. Muslim call it Al-Haram al-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary while Jews rever it as the Temple Mount which housed the First and Second Temple. The resolution approved, which was drafted by Algeria, Egypt, Kuwait, Morocco, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates, condemns Israeli actions at the compound, including restricting access to Muslim worshippers during Eid celebrations last month on security ground. It was supported by 26 of the 58 member countries on UNESCO 's executive board, while 25 embers abstained. The resolution deeply deplores the recent repression in East Jerusalem , and the failure of Israel , the occupying Power, to cease the persistent excavations and works in East Jerusalem particularly in and around the Old city. The new resolution was criticized by Israeli Interior Minister Silvan Shalom, who was on a visit to Paris at the time. UNESCO is very hostile organization towards Israel . Unfortunately most of the votes are against Israel , Shalom told a press conference, referring to the fact that Arab states frequently team up for resolutions against the country. We are the ones who keep the status quo there, said Shalom. We give full access to everyone to go to their own holy sites.