Transcript of UNESCO decision

By JPOST.COM STAFF
October 13, 2016 22:36
Temple Mount

The Temple Mount in Jerusalem . (photo credit: JACK BROOK)

 
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DRAFT DECISION

Submitted by: Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, and Sudan

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I

I.A Jerusalem

The Executive Board,

1. Having examined document 200 EX/25,

2. Recalling the provisions of the four Geneva Conventions (1949) and their additional Protocols



(1977), the 1907 Hague Regulations on Land Warfare, the Hague Convention for the Protection of

Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (1954) and its additional Protocols, the Convention

on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of

Cultural Property (1970) and the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural

Heritage (1972), the inscription of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls at the request of Jordan

on the World Heritage List (1981) and on the List of World Heritage in Danger (1982), and the

recommendations, resolutions and decisions of UNESCO on the protection of cultural heritage, as

well as resolutions and decisions of UNESCO relating to Jerusalem, also recalling previous

UNESCO decisions related to the reconstruction and development of Gaza as well as UNESCO

decisions on the two Palestinian sites in Al-Khalil/ Hebron and in Bethlehem,

3. Affirming the importance of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls for the three monotheistic

religions, also affirming that nothing in the current decision, which aims, inter alia, at the

safeguarding of the cultural heritage of Palestine and the distinctive character of East Jerusalem,

shall in any way affect the relevant Security Council and United Nations resolutions and decisions

on the legal status of Palestine and Jerusalem,

4. Deeply regrets the Israeli refusal to implement UNESCO previous Decisions concerning Jerusalem

particularly 185 EX/Decision 14 and notes that its request to the Director-General to appoint, as

soon as possible, a permanent representative to be stationed in East Jerusalem to report on a

regular basis about all the aspects covering the fields of competence of UNESCO in East

Jerusalem, has not been fulfilled and reiterates its request to the Director-General to appoint the

above-mentioned representative;

5. Deeply deplores the failure of Israel, the Occupying Power, to cease the persistent excavations

and works in East Jerusalem particularly in and around the Old City, and reiterates its request to

Israel, the Occupying Power, to prohibit all such works in conformity with its obligations under the

provisions of the relevant UNESCO conventions, resolutions and decisions;

6. Thanks the Director-General for her efforts to implement previous UNESCO decisions on

Jerusalem and asks her to maintain and reinvigorate such efforts;

200 EX/PX/DR.. – page 2

I.B Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif and its surroundings

I.B.1 Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif

7. Calls on Israel, the Occupying Power, to allow for the restoration of the historic Status Quo, that

prevailed until September 2000, under which the Jordanian Awqaf Department (Religious

Foundation) exercised exclusive authority on Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif, and its mandate

extended to all affairs relating to the unimpeded administration of Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-
Sharif, including maintenance, restoration and regulating access;

8. Strongly condemns the Israeli escalating aggressions and illegal measures against the Awqaf

Department and its personnel, and against the freedom of worship and Muslims’ access to their

Holy Site Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al Sharif, and requests Israel, the Occupying Power, to

respect the historic Status Quo and to immediately stop these measures;

9. Firmly deplores the continuous storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif by the Israeli right-
wing extremists and uniformed forces, and urges Israel, the Occupying Power, to take necessary

measures to prevent provocative abuses that violate the sanctity and integrity of Al-Aqsa

Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif;

10. Deeply decries the continuous Israeli aggressions against civilians including Islamic religious

figures and priests, further decries the forceful entering into the different Mosques and historic

buildings inside Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif by different Israeli employees including the

so-called "Israeli Antiquities" officials, and arrests and injuries among Muslim worshippers and

Jordanian Awqaf guards in Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif by the Israeli forces and also

urges Israel, the Occupying Power, to end these aggressions and abuses which inflame the

tension on the ground and between faiths;

11. Disapproves the Israeli restriction of access to Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif during the Eid

Al-Adha 2015 and the subsequent violence and calls on Israel, the Occupying Power, to stop all

violations against Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif;

12. Deeply regrets the refusal of Israel to grant visas to UNESCO experts in charge of the UNESCO

project at the Centre of Islamic Manuscripts in Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif and requests

Israel to deliver visas to UNESCO experts without restrictions;

13. Also regrets the damage caused by the Israeli Forces, especially since 23 August 2015, to the

historic gates and windows of the Qibli Mosque inside Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif, and

reaffirms, in this regard, the obligation of Israel to respect the integrity, authenticity and cultural

heritage of Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif, as reflected in the historic Status Quo, as a

Muslim Holy Site of worship and as an integral part of a World Cultural Heritage Site;

14. Expresses its deep concern over the Israeli closure and ban of the renovation of the Al-Rahma

Gate building, one of Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif gates, and urges Israel, the Occupying

Power, to reopen the Gate, and stop obstruction of the necessary restoration works, in order to

repair the damage caused by the weather conditions, especially the water leakage into the rooms

of the building;

15. Calls on Israel, the Occupying Power, to stop the obstruction of the immediate execution of all the

18 Hashemite restoration projects in and around Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif;

16. Further deplores the Israeli decision to approve a plan to build a two-line cable car system in East

Jerusalem and the so called “Liba House” project in the Old City of Jerusalem as well as the

construction of the so called "Kedem Center", a visitor centre near the southern wall of the

Mosque, the construction of the Strauss Building and the project of the elevator in Al-Buraq Plaza

"Western Wall Plaza" and urges Israel, the Occupying Power, to renounce the above-mentioned

200 EX/PX/DR.. – page 3

projects and to stop the construction works in conformity with its obligations under the relevant

UNESCO conventions, resolutions and decisions;

I.B.2 The Ascent to the Mughrabi Gate in Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif

17. Reaffirms that the Mughrabi Ascent is an integral and inseparable part of Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-
Haram Al-Sharif;

18. Takes note of the 16th Reinforced Monitoring Report and all previous reports, together with their

addenda prepared by the World Heritage Centre as well as the State of Conservation reports

submitted to the World Heritage Centre by the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the State of

Palestine;

19. Deprecates the persisting Israeli unilateral measures and decisions regarding the Ascent to the

Mughrabi Gate, including the latest works conducted at the Mughrabi Gate entrance in February

2015, the installment of an umbrella at that entrance as well as the enforced creation of a new

Jewish prayer platform south of the Mughrabi Ascent in Al-Buraq Plaza "Western Wall Plaza", and

the removal of the Islamic remains at the site and reaffirms that no Israeli unilateral measures,

shall be taken in conformity with its status and obligations under the Hague Convention for the

Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict of 1954;

20. Further expresses its deep concern regarding the illegal demolitions of Ummayyad, Ottoman and

Mamluk remains as well as other intrusive works and excavations in and around the Mughrabi

Gate Pathway, and also requests Israel, the Occupying Power, to halt such demolitions,

excavations and works and to abide by its obligations under the provisions of the UNESCO

conventions mentioned in para 2;

21. Reiterates its thanks to Jordan for its cooperation and further urges Israel, the Occupying Power, to

cooperate with Jordanian Awqaf Department, in conformity with its obligations under the provisions

of the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict of

1954, to facilitate access of Jordanian Awqaf experts with their tools and materials to the site in

order to enable the execution of the Jordanian design of the Ascent to the Mughrabi Gate in

accordance with UNESCO and World Heritage Committee decisions particularly 37 COM/7A.26,

38 COM/7A.4 and 39 COM/7A.27;

22. Thanks the Director-General for her attention to the sensitive situation of this matter and asks her

to take the necessary measures in order to enable the execution of the Jordanian design of the

Ascent to the Mughrabi Gate;

I.C The UNESCO Reactive Monitoring Mission to the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls and

The UNESCO experts meeting on the Mughrabi Ascent

23. Stresses yet again the urgent need of the implementation of the UNESCO Reactive Monitoring

Mission to the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls;

24. Recalls, in this regard, 196 EX/Decision 26 that requests, in case of non-implementation, to

consider, in conformity with the International Law, other means to ensure its implementation;

25. Notes with deep concern that Israel, the Occupying Power, did not comply with any of the 121

decisions of the Executive Board as well as the six2

resolutions of the World Heritage Committee



1

The 11 Executive Board decisions: 185 EX/Decision 14, 186 EX/Decision 11, 187 EX/Decision 11, 189 EX/Decision 8,

190 EX/Decision 13, 191 EX/Decision 9, 192 EX/Decision 11, 194 EX/Decision 11, 195 EX/Decision9,

196EX/Decision26, 197 EX/Decision 32, 199EX/Dec.19.1.

2

The six World Heritage Committee resolutions: 34 COM/7A.20, 35 COM/7A.22, 36 COM/7A.23, 37 COM/7A.26,

38COM/7A.4, 39 COM/7A.27.

200 EX/PX/DR.. – page 4

that request the implementation of the Reactive Monitoring Mission to the Old City of Jerusalem

and its Walls;

26. Regrets the continued Israeli refusal to act in accordance with UNESCO and World Heritage

Committee decisions that request a UNESCO experts meeting on the Mughrabi Ascent and the

dispatch of a Reactive Monitoring Mission to the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls;

27. Invites the Director-General to take necessary measures to implement the above-mentioned

Mission in accordance with World Heritage Committee decision 34 COM/7A.20, prior to the next

session of the Executive Board, also invites all concerned parties to facilitate the implementation of

that mission and experts meeting;

28. Requests that the report and recommendations of the mission as well as the report of the technical

meeting on the Mughrabi Ascent, be presented to the concerned parties;

29. Thanks the Director-General for her continuous efforts to implement the above-mentioned

UNESCO joint Reactive Monitoring Mission and all related UNESCO decisions and resolutions;

II

RECONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT OF GAZA

31. Deplores the military confrontations in and around the Gaza Strip and the civilian casualties

caused, including the killing and injury of thousands of Palestinian civilians, including children, as

well as the continuous negative impact in the fields of competence of UNESCO, the attacks on

schools and other educational and cultural facilities, including breaches of inviolability of UNRWA

schools;

32. Strongly deplores the continuous Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip, which harmfully affects the

free and sustained movement of personnel and humanitarian relief items as well as the

intolerable number of casualties among Palestinian children, the attacks on schools and other

educational and cultural facilities and the denial of access to education, and requests Israel, the

occupying Power, to immediately ease this blockade;

33. Reiterates its request to the Director-General to upgrade, as soon as possible, the UNESCO

Antenna in Gaza in order to ensure the prompt reconstruction of schools, universities, cultural

heritage sites, cultural institutions, media centres and places of worship that have been destroyed

or damaged by the consecutive wars on Gaza;

34. Thanks the Director-General for the information meeting held on March 2015 on the current

situation in Gaza in the fields of competence of UNESCO and on the outcome of the projects

conducted by UNESCO in the Gaza Strip-Palestine, and invites her to organize, as soon as

possible, another information meeting on the same matter;

35. Also thanks the Director-General for initiatives that have already been implemented in Gaza in

the fields of education, culture and youth and for the safety of media professionals, and calls

upon her to continue her active involvement in the reconstruction of Gaza’s damaged educational

and cultural components;

III

THE TWO PALESTINIAN SITES OF AL-ḤARAM AL IBRĀHĪMĪ/TOMB OF THE PATRIARCHS IN

AL-KHALĪL/HEBRON AND THE BILĀL IBN RABĀḤ MOSQUE/RACHEL’S TOMB IN BETHLEHEM

36. Reaffirms that the two concerned sites located in Al-Khalīl/Hebron and in Bethlehem are an

integral part of Palestine;

37. Shares the conviction affirmed by the international community that the two sites are of religious

significance for Judaism, Christianity and Islam;

200 EX/PX/DR.. – page 5

38. Strongly disapproves the ongoing Israeli illegal excavations, works, construction of private roads

for settlers and a separation wall inside the Old City of Al-Khalīl/Hebron, that harmfully affect the

integrity of the site, and the subsequent denial of freedom of movement and freedom of access to

places of worship, and asks Israel, the occupying Power, to end these violations in compliance

with provisions of relevant UNESCO conventions, resolutions and decisions;

39. Deeply deplores the new cycle of violence, going on since October 2015, in the context of the

constant aggressions by the Israeli settlers and other extremist groups against Palestinian

residents including schoolchildren, also asks the Israeli authorities to prevent such aggressions;

40. Regrets the visual impact of the separation wall on the site of Bilāl Ibn Rabāḥ Mosque/Rachel’s

Tomb in Bethlehem as well as the strict ban of access of Palestinian Christian and Muslim

worshippers to the site and demands the Israeli authorities to restore the original character of the

landscape around the site and to lift the ban of access to it;

41. Deeply regrets the Israeli refusal to comply with 185 EX/Decision 15 which requested the Israeli

authorities to remove the two Palestinian sites from its national heritage list and calls on the

Israeli authorities to act in accordance with that decision;

IV

42. Decides to include these matters under the item entitled “Occupied Palestine” in the agenda of

the Executive Board at its 201st session, and invites the Director-General to submit to it a

progress report on these matters.

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