UN heritage body against Al-Aqsa name change

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SHAFAQNA – The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is set to vote on a resolution that describes Israel as an “occupying power,” denying its sovereignty claims over all of Jerusalem (al-Quds).

The UN heritage body will on Tuesday vote on the resolution, which describes as null and void any decision by the Israeli “occupying power,” its parliament, its Supreme Court, or any other Israeli authority that pertains to Jerusalem (al-Quds).

The resolution is reportedly drafted with the help of Germany, which also led efforts for the vote’s timing.

The measure also slams Israel’s excavations in eastern Jerusalem (al-Quds) and the Old City.

The motion is expected to be approved despite Israel’s intense attempts to exert pressure on the members of the UN body to vote against it.

Israeli sources say Italy is the only country that has decided not to support the resolution.

Last year, the UNESCO approved a motion that endorses the right of the Palestinians to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound and slams Israeli provocations around the holy site.

The occupied Palestinian territories have witnessed new tensions ever since Israeli forces imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds in August 2015.

More than 300 Palestinians have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces in the tensions since the beginning of October 2015. A number of Israelis have been killed, too.

The Tel Aviv regime has tried to change the demographic makeup of Jerusalem al-Quds over the past decades by constructing settlements, destroying historical sites, and expelling the local Palestinian population.

Palestinians say the Israeli measures are aimed at paving the way for the Judaization of the city.

In December 2016, the UN Security Council adopted a historic resolution that condemns Israeli settlement activities as a “flagrant violation of international law.”

Approved 14-0 in the 15-member Council, Resolution 2334 (2016) calls on Israel to immediately and completely cease all settlement activities on occupied Palestinian territory, including the West Bank.

The United States — Israel’s staunchest ally — uncharacteristically decided not to wield its veto power and to allow the adoption of the text with a mere abstention.

The Tel Aviv regime had lobbied extensively to prevent the ratification of that resolution, too.

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