UNESCO member states have renewed a resolution criticizing Israel for restricting Muslim access to a Jerusalem holy site, a European diplomatic source said, angering Israel’s government by also referring to the area only by its Muslim names.
Nabil Abu Rdainah, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said: “This is an important message to Israel that it must end its occupation and recognize the Palestinian state and Jerusalem as its capital with its sacred Muslim and Christian sites.”
The resolution was voted through on Thursday with 24 votes in favor, six against, and 26 abstentions with two countries absent, the diplomatic source and another source with knowledge of the vote said on Thursday. France, which is trying to bring the Israeli and Palestinians leaders back to the negotiating table by year-end, was among countries voting in favor of the resolution on a previous occasion, a move that caused a diplomatic row with the Israeli government.
Earlier this year, President Francois Hollande said there had been an “unfortunate,” amendment to the text on that occasion and that he would be “extremely vigilant” with this year’s resolution. Paris abstained this time round, the diplomat said.