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    A Palestinian man walks past the Dome of Rock at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound after the Friday prayer in Jerusalem's Old City on November 11, 2016

    Arab States Urge UNESCO to Reject Israeli Sovereignty Over Western Jerusalem

    © AFP 2019 / AHMAD GHARABLI
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    Arab states called on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Executive Board to endorse a resolution, rejecting Israeli sovereignty over western Jerusalem, local media reported Thursday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to The Jerusalem Post newspaper, the resolution, arguing that "any action taken by Israel, the Occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction, and administration on the City of Jerusalem, are illegal and therefore null and void and have no validity whatsoever" is set to be put on vote on May 1.

    The paper was submitted by Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan on behalf of the Palestinians.

    The draft resolution also states that the Jewish holy sites of the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem are "an integral part of Palestine."

    While the UN body had reiterated its view that East Jerusalem was "part of the occupied Palestinian territory" in 2011, it is the first time when the Arab states urged UNESCO to question Israel's sovereignty over western part of the city.

    Over the decades, Palestinians have sought diplomatic recognition for their independent state on the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, which includes the partially Israeli-controlled East Jerusalem. The Israeli government, though, refuses to recognize Palestine as an independent political and diplomatic entity and continues to build settlements in the occupied areas, despite objections from the United Nations.

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    sovereignty, UNESCO, Jerusalem, Israel
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