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PLO calls on Israel to respect UNESCO vote

PLO's Secretary Saeb Erekat yesterday called for Israel to respect UNESCO's decision on Jerusalem and its Islamic and the Christian holy sites, the Safa news agency reported.

In a statement, Erekat said: "The Israeli attempts aiming at changing the historical identity of occupied Jerusalem, including the change of the Islamic and Christian customs and traditions have existed since the start of the Israeli occupation in 1967."

He added: "In full cooperation with Jordan and throughout the official diplomatic channels, Palestine did its best to maintain the status quo regarding the holy and historic sites in Jerusalem in accordance with the internationally recognised deals and decisions."

The PLO's secretary also said that the Israeli occupation has been carrying a "pre-planned campaign" using claimed historic links.

"This is part of the Israeli efforts to distort the facts and legitimise the annexation of Jerusalem," he said. "These efforts contradict UNESCO's decisions which reiterated that Jerusalem is holy for the three monotheistic religions – Islam, Christianity and Judaism."

Over the past ten days, UNESCO has adopted three decisions that denied Jewish links to Al-Aqsa Mosque and its Western Wall and stressed that Jerusalem is holy for Islam, Christianity and Judaism.

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