Israel has reduced its funding to UNESCO by $1 million after the global organisation declared the occupied West Bank city of Hebron a Palestinian heritage site yesterday, Safa news agency reported.
According to the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, the funds will be used to build a Jewish museum inside the illegal settlement of Kiryat Arbaa in the heart of occupied Hebron.
“We have done all we could and beyond that,” Israel’s Ambassador to UNESCO, Carmel Shama Hacohen, said following the vote.
“The Poles reneged on our agreement with them and sold us out to benefit the Arab gang,” he added.
Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli defence minister, released a furious statement after the vote and called for US President Donald Trump to punish UNRSCO by cutting its funding.
UNESCO is an antisemitic, politically biased organization whose decisions are scandalous.
— אביגדור ליברמן (@AvigdorLiberman) July 7, 2017
“UNESCO is a politically biased, shameful and anti-Semitic organisation whose decisions are scandalous, and I hope that with the help of our great friend the United States, the organisation’s budget will be cut off,” he said.
Following a massacre carried out against Muslim worshippers in Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque in 1994, Israel divided it into two parts; one for Muslims and one for Jews.
Israeli violations against Muslims in occupied Hebron have been a regular occurrence with occupation forces preventing the athan, call to prayer, from being made from the mosque, and closing the mosque altogether to Muslim worshippers to allow Jewish festivals to take place inside.
The city’s old souk has also been closed down with Palestinians being forbidden access to it as Shuhada Street now leads to an illegal Jewish only settlement.