07:55 GMT12 April 2021
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    French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Wednesday condemned the resolution recently passed UNESCO resolution calling Israel 'Occupying Power,' and said that the resolution should never have been adopted in the first place.

    PARIS (Sputnik) — In April, UNESCO released and then adopted the resolution, calling Israel "the Occupying Power" and urging it to "stop all violations against Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif [the Arabic name of a holy site in East Jerusalem]." At the same time the resolution did not include the Israeli name of the site, known as Temple Mount, nor did it reference its role in Jewish culture.

    "This UNESCO resolution contains unfortunate, clumsy, offending formulations it should have been clearly avoided, as well as the vote on the issue," Valls said in an address to the country's parliament, as quoted by the French Actualite Juive newspaper.

    He added that France would never deny the presence of Jewish history in Jerusalem.

    The decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict escalated last September when skirmishes between Palestinian youths and Israeli security forces broke out at the holy site of Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif/Temple Mount in East Jerusalem, spurred by rumors of Israeli plans to restore a Jewish presence there. Israel has repeatedly denied moves to change the status-quo at the al-Aqsa mosque, where non-Muslim worship is prohibited.


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