Hamas Slams Palestinian Authority for Postponing UNESCO Resolutions

Mahmoud Abbas (centre) signs the guestbook at the headquarters of UNESCO in Paris on Dec 13, 2011. (Photo: UNESCO/Danica Bijeljac)

Hamas on Thursday condemned a reported decision by the Palestinian Authority to postpone five UNESCO resolutions following US intervention.

“This step is like a reward to the occupation for its crimes and violations,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said in a statement.

“It is a contribution in erasing the Arabic and Islamic identity of Jerusalem, and it encourages the occupation to continue its Judaization program,” Barhoum said.

The Hamas official added that no one had the right to compromise the rights of the Palestinian people.

Israel radio reported Wednesday that the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority had agreed to postpone five resolutions condemning Israeli threats to Jerusalem’s Palestinian character as well as Israeli activity in the West Bank.

The resolutions were to be presented to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which admitted Palestine as a member in September.

Israel radio said the PA agreed to bury the resolutions as part of a deal with Jordan and Israel, brokered by Washington.

Jordan on Tuesday said Israel had agreed to allow a UN mission to “investigate and assess” heritage conservation in Jerusalem’s Old City for the first time since 2004.

“Jordan and Palestine, supported by Arab states, succeeded in pressuring Israel, for the first time since 2004, to accept and facilitate a UNESCO experts’ mission to investigate and assess the status of heritage and conservation of the Old City of Jerusalem and its walls,” a palace statement said.

The mission will start its work on May 15 “and it has to present its report and recommendations before June 1st, 2013, just before the beginning of the World Heritage Committee 37th session,” it added.

According to the palace, Israel confirmed its decision in a letter to UNESCO director general Irina Bokova and in a statement read out on Tuesday at a meeting in Paris of UNESCO’s executive board.

Israel also agreed to take part in a technical meeting of UNESCO “to discuss recent Israeli violations against the Mughrabi Gate,” in Jerusalem, it added.

The Mughrabi ramp leads from the plaza by the Western Wall, the most sacred site at which Jews can pray, up to the adjoining the sacred compound, known to Muslims as Al-Haram Al-Sharif, which houses Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Tuesday’s announcement comes after a deal was struck in March by which the Palestinian Authority confirmed a verbal agreement dating back to 1924 giving Jordan custodianship over Muslim and Christian sites in Jerusalem.

(Ma’an and Agencies – maannews.net)

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1 Comment

  1. How would I know?
    BUT, if it were a nascent issue started recently, there is a case for postponement. But this is over 50 years old.
    It suggests the PA has become an arm of US/Arab/Israeli policy (the PA doesn’t represent Palestinians at all!).
    HAMAS is probably correct: it is an act of a impotent regime without much support from its constituency, who is saying “we are useless, let us quietly die away!”
    The PA is as futile as the “peace process”, neither reliable, fair nor the basis of a decent future. The wonder is the Palestinian people continue their struggle, ill led, lied to and without powerful friends. What’s amazing is their determination to win a country out of such numbing chaos!

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