Israel cuts funding to UNESCO

Israel cuts funding to UNESCO

Ambassador Carl Magnus Nesser was reprimanded by Rodica Radian-Gordon, the ministry's deputy director-general for Europe, and Alon Bar, who oversees the ministry's worldwide organizations department.

The Unesco resolution sponsored by Arab countries on Tuesday addressed Israel as the "occupying power" and urges it to stop "persistent excavations, tunnelling, works and projects in East Jerusalem", Xinhua news agency reported.

In Israel's latest diplomatic spat, officials summoned Carl Magnus Nesser, Sweden's ambassador to Tel Aviv, to express their "disappointment" after Sweden became the only European Union country to vote for the resolution. He also asked the budget to be cut by another $2 million in March when the UNHRC approved five anti-Israel resolutions.

Six EU countries - Italy, Greece, Germany, the Netherlands, Lithuania and the United Kingdom - voted against the resolution, while France, Spain, Slovenia and Estonia abstained.

Wednesday's cut was the third time in recent months Israel reduced its United Nations budget over what it perceived as anti-Israel votes, putting this year's payments at $2.7 million.

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"This considerable sum, nearly NIS 40 million, will be transferred to the Foreign Ministry, which is doing exceptional work", he said at the time.

The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) said Wednesday that it welcomed the resolution of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on the status of holy sites in the occupied eastern part of Jerusalem.

"The UNESCO's decision also highlights the need for a historic and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, so both countries can live in peace and security as neighbours", Minister of State for Media Affairs Mohammad Momani told The Jordan Times Wednesday.

Unlike previous UNESCO resolutions that ignored the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount, the version that passed on Tuesday was much softer in language. He thanked Italy for being the first European country to announce its intention to vote against the text, which destroyed the hope of other countries on the continent to reach an agreement on supporting or abstaining on the resolution.

"For the first time in UNESCO, more countries voted to oppose or abstained than voted in favor, and of course this is important", he said.

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