Israel 'sulks' over Jerusalem resolution by trimming UN budget

Israel 'sulks' over Jerusalem resolution by trimming UN budget
Israel trimmed its UN budget once again on Wednesday, over what officials called an 'absurd' UN Jerusalem.
2 min read
03 May, 2017
Netanahu slammed the UN resolution [Getty]

Israel will cut $1 million from its United Nations funding over a UNESCO resolution, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced on Wednesday, after suggesting the proposal denies Jews' historical connection with Jerusalem.

"UNESCO again accepted an absurd resolution yesterday about the status of Jerusalem – the capital of the Jewish people for 3,000 years," Netanyahu said at the opening of a cabinet meeting.

"This systematic harassment has a price," said Netanyahu, telling ministers he had ordered the foreign ministry to "cut an additional $1 million from the money Israel transfers to the UN."

The resolution, which passed on Tuesday at the UN organisation's Paris headquarters, denounced actions taken by "Israel, the occupying power... to alter the character and status of the holy city of Jerusalem."

It particularly criticised Israel's annexation of Jerusalem following its occupation of the city's east in 1967, a move never recognised by the international community.

It said such moves were "null and void and must be rescinded forthwith".

The Palestinian foreign ministry welcomed the declaration, calling it "a victory for international law".

It said the decision reaffirmed "the centrality of Jerusalem to world heritage as well as the need to confront the dangers posed by the illegal practices of Israel, the occupying power... which threaten the cultural and historical integrity of these invaluable sites."

Wednesday's cut was the third time in recent months Israel reduced its UN budget over what it perceived as anti-Israel votes, putting the 2017 payments at $3.7 instead of the original $11 million, an Israeli official said.

Meanwhile, the Israeli foreign ministry summoned Swedish ambassador Carl Magnus Nesser and reprimanded him over Stockholm's support of the UNESCO resolution on Wednesday. 

Senior ministry officials expressed their "bitter disappointment" over the vote in their talk with Nesser, noting Sweden's "systematic voting" pattern against Israel, a statement read.