Israel reprimands Swedish ambassador over UNESCO vote

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Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano said he had instructed the country's representative at UNESCO to vote against what he called "the latest politicized resolution on Jerusalem".

The Palestinian Authority (PA) praised a newly passed United Nations resolution which denies Israel's rights to Jerusalem, a report said.

Speaking at the White House for an Israeli Independence Day commemoration on Tuesday, Vice President Pence told celebrators that President Trump, "as we speak, is giving serious consideration to moving the American embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem", to applause and cheers. Israeli authorities have criticized the resolution and refused to abide by its provisions. He called upon the United Nations organizations, particularly UNESCO, to protect the heritage, culture and history of Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Palestine, from distorting the civilized face of the Holy City.

While the overall outcome was negative for Israel, the vote marked a shift from the near-unanimous approval seen in previous anti-Israel UNESCO votes on Jerusalem, with 23 member states abstaining and 10 - the US, Italy, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Greece, Paraguay, Ukraine, Togo and Germany - opposing.

"There is no other people in the world for whom Jerusalem is as holy and important as for the Jewish people", Netanyahu said in a speech, reported AFP, and said that Unesco is "trying to deny this simple truth".

"Even now, after this miserable vote, this blue and white flag is flying high above the Temple Mount and throughout Israel's eternal capital city, Jerusalem, waving in the wind, saying to all 'here we are, and we are here to stay, '" Shama-Hacohen said, according to the Times of Israel.

"We don't believe in UNESCO", said Netanyahu.

The draft resolution now states 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".

However, Netanyahu noted that more countries than usual were opposed to the UNESCO resolution: "More countries opposed this resolution than previous year and fewer countries supported it".

"The Palestinian leadership and their allies have consistently abused UNESCO as a forum to censure Israel, including on Israel'sIndependence Day today", said AJC CEO David Harris.

The Swedish government released a statement explaining its voting on the resolution on Tuesday, saying that it had "consistently strived for European Union unity on this resolution" but "since the European Union unfortunately has not been able to stay united, and since Sweden believes the current text is acceptable, Sweden has voted in favor".