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Sunday 13 November 2011

Arab League Asks UNESCO to Open Office in East Jerusalem
08.11.11 - 22:51

Mohammed Aziz Ben Ashour, the general director of the Arab League Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ALESCO) asked UNESCO on Tuesday to open an office in East Jerusalem to document and protect against attacks on Arab Islamic and Christian heritage.

The Old City of Bethlehem has been suggested as one of Palestine's first additions to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Brendan Work, PNN).
Ben Ashour told Palestinian government news wire Wafa on Monday that accepting Palestine as a member in UNESCO was a historical success for Palestinians and their cause. He continued that the presence of Palestine in UNESCO would act as a shield for its heritage and Palestinian identity.

He credited the UNESCO vote, which passed overwhelmingly last week and cost the UN body 22% of its funding when the US withdrew, to the efforts of Palestinian leaders and work by ALESCO.

Ben Ashour said that Palestinian membership in UNESCO opens doors in their quest to get attain full membership in the United Nations, starting with the defense of their heritage and identify. He expressed his happiness that Palestine would soon be able to repair its heritage sites and put them on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites. 

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