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The Cave of the Patriarchs

by Jack Mendel

The UK has voted against an “outrageous” resolution to reclassify Jewish sites of Rachel’s Tomb and the Tomb of Patriarchs, as Muslim sites.

It condemned ongoing Israeli archaeological excavations near Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City, during a session of he United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The resolution also condemned Israel’s “aggression and illegal measures taken against the freedom of worship and access of Muslims to Al-Aqsa Mosque and Israel’s attempts to break the status quo since 1967.”

It originally wanted to include the Western Wall was an ‘integral part’ of the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, which has been a linchpin of religious tensions in recent months. But, this was struck from the draft earlier in the day, by Arab states.

They instead sought recognition of Jewish holy sites, Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem and the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron, as Muslim sites.

The UK voted against the resolution, with twenty-six representatives voting in favor, six against, and twenty-five abstentions.

Commenting on news, Conservative Friends of Israel’s Parliamentary Chairman, Sir Eric Pickles said, ” I warmly welcome the UK’s principled vote against the outrageous Palestinian resolution at UNESCO”.

He said the resolution “attempts to rewrite history and deny Judaism’s connections to some of its most holy sites.”

“There have been more than enough attempts in recent weeks to spread misinformation about Israel’s alleged intentions for Temple Mount. This latest resolution was designed to be provocative.  

“UNESCO would be better spending its time finding ways in which people of faith can worship in peace undisturbed”.