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Israel to Cut UN Funding Over UNESCO Vote on Jerusalem 'Occupation'

© REUTERS / Ronen ZvulunIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a meeting with ambassadors from NATO member states, in Jerusalem June 14, 2016.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a meeting with ambassadors from NATO member states, in Jerusalem June 14, 2016. - Sputnik International
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday to deduct another $1 million from the funds that Israel annually transfers to the United Nations in response to a recent ruling in UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which labeled Israel an occupant country of Jerusalem.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Tuesday, UNESCO's executive committee passed a resolution on Israel which qualified country's excavations, tunneling, works and projects in East Jerusalem "illegal under international law."

"In wake of the resolution, I have instructed Foreign Ministry Director General Yuval Rotem to deduct $1 million from the funds that Israel transfers to the UN. Israel will not sit by while the organization calls for the denial of our sovereignty in Jerusalem," Netanyahu said at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting as quoted in a statement published on his office's website.

In March, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said that the country, which was expected by UN Secretariat to pay $11 million this year, would reduce payments to UN institutions by $2 million following a recent wave of anti-Israel resolutions adopted by the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). These resolutions accuse Tel Aviv of "human rights violations in the occupied Syrian Golan" and the West Bank.

DPRK leader Kim Jong-il, center, at a ceremony to open a new residential area on Ryomyong Street in Pyongyang. - Sputnik International
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In January, Israel decreased annual payments to the United Nations by $6 million in response to the December 2016 UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The resolution, which was passed with a 14-0 vote, states that Israel should immediately and completely cease all settlement activities on "occupied Palestinian territory," including in East Jerusalem. Israeli authorities have criticized the resolution and refused to abide by its provisions.

Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, partially occupied by Israel, and the Gaza Strip, and want Israel to withdraw from the Palestinian territories it took after the Six-Day War in 1967.

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