22:15 GMT27 October 2020
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    Following another in a growing series of UN referendums to censure or block the continuing apartheid-like treatment of Palestinians and the occupation of Palestinian territories at the hands of the Israeli government, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has again cut funds traditionally earmarked for human rights.

    An additional $1 million was cut from the UNESCO budget by Netanyahu after the board of the UN cultural agency voted in favor of a resolution that called Israel an "occupying power" in Jerusalem and deplored its ongoing activities in areas determined under international law to be illegally occupied.

    The latest cut brings Israel's original $11.7 million annual UNESCO commitment down to $2.7 million. Netanyahu's order follows hot on the heels of a March declaration to eliminate $2 million in human rights contributions after the passage of sanctions against Israel by the UN Human Rights Council for the country's continuing oppression of Palestinians.

    In January, the prime minister axed $6 million from the country's UNESCO contribution after UN Security Council anti-settlement resolution 2334 was passed, demanding that Israel stop building housing on territories it does not legally own.

    Insisting that the most recent vote was "delusional," Netanyahu commented on UN member observations of Israel's prison-like atmosphere surrounding Palestinians, claiming that, "There is a price for harassment," according to the Jerusalem Post.

    "I directed the director-general of the Foreign Ministry to deduct a further million dollars from the money Israel transfers to the UN," he added.

    Among the marked minority of UN member-states supporting Israel by voting against the most recent censure were Italy, the United States, Paraguay, Togo and Ukraine.


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