Israel to allow UNESCO inspectors in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel has agreed to allow UNESCO to inspect sites in Jerusalem in exchange for the postponing of five Palestinian-sponsored resolutions critical of Israel.

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The deal, reached on Tuesday, was brokered by the United States, Russiaand Jordan, according to The New York Times.

The Paris-based United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization accepted the Palestinian Authority as a full member in 2011, the only United Nations agency to do so. The United States cut funding to the agency in the wake of the vote.

UNESCO inspectors will look at the Old City of Jerusalem and its walls, including the Western Wall and the Mughrabi Bridge to the Temple Mount, according to the Times, as part of an “action plan” to inspect and safeguard the cultural heritage of the Old City of Jerusalem.

Conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has increased dramatically over the Mughrabi Bridge, which Israel closed in the wake of safety concerns and then later reopened. UNESCO reportedly is working to broker an agreement between the two sides on building an alternative to the bridge.


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