Item 30 Occupied Palestine3 (201 EX/30)
21. After considering this item, the Programme and External Relations Commission recommended that the Executive Board adopt the following draft decision:
The Executive Board,
1. Having examined document 201 EX/30,
2. Recalling the provisions of the four Geneva Conventions (1949) and their additional Protocols (1977), the 1907 Hague Regulations on Land Warfare, the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (1954) and its additional Protocols, the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (1970) and the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972), the inscription of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls at the request of Jordan on the World Heritage List (1981) and on the List of World Heritage in Danger (1982), and the recommendations, resolutions and decisions of UNESCO on the protection of cultural heritage, as well as resolutions and decisions of UNESCO relating to Jerusalem, also recalling previous UNESCO decisions relating to the reconstruction and development of Gaza as well as UNESCO decisions on the two Palestinian sites in Al-Khalil/Hebron and in Bethlehem,
3. Affirming that nothing in the current decision, which aims, inter alia, at the safeguarding of the cultural heritage of Palestine and the distinctive character of East Jerusalem, shall in any way affect the relevant Security Council and United Nations resolutions and decisions on the legal status of Palestine and Jerusalem, including United Nations Security Council resolution 2334 (2016),
4. Reaffirming the importance of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls for the three monotheistic religions,
5. Reminding that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which have altered or purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem, and in particular the "basic law" on Jerusalem, are null and void and must be rescinded forthwith,
6. Further recalling the 11 decisions of the Executive Board: 185 EX/Decision 14, 187 EX/Decision 11, 189 EX/Decision 8, 190 EX/Decision 13, 192 EX/Decision 11, 194 EX/Decision 5.D, 195 EX/Decision 9, 196 EX/Decision 26, 197 EX/Decision 32, 199 EX/Dec.19.1, 200 EX/Decision 25 and the seven World Heritage Committee decisions: 34 COM/7A.20, 35 COM/7A.22, 36 COM/7A.23, 37 COM/7A.26, 38 COM/7A.4, 39 COM/7A.27, 40 COM/7A.13,
7. Regrets the failure of the Israeli occupying authorities to cease the persistent excavations, tunneling, works and projects in East Jerusalem, particularly in and around the Old City of Jerusalem, which are illegal under international law and reiterates its request to Israel, the occupying Power, to prohibit all violations which are not in conformity with the provisions of the relevant UNESCO conventions, resolutions and decisions;
8. Also regrets the Israeli refusal to implement the UNESCO request to the Director-General to appoint a permanent representative to be stationed in East Jerusalem to report on a regular basis about all aspects covering the fields of competence of UNESCO in East Jerusalem, and reiterates its request to the Director-General to appoint, as soon as possible, the above-mentioned representative;
9. Stresses again the urgent need to implement the UNESCO reactive monitoring mission to the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls, and invites the Director-General and the World Heritage Centre, to exert all possible efforts, in line with their mandates and in conformity with the provisions of the relevant UNESCO conventions, decisions and resolutions, to ensure the prompt implementation of the mission and, in case of non-implementation, to propose possible effective measures to ensure its implementation;
30.11 Reconstruction and development of Gaza
10. Deplores the military confrontations in and around the Gaza Strip and the civilian casualties caused, as well as the continuous negative impact in the fields of competence of UNESCO, the attacks on schools and other educational and cultural facilities, including breaches of the inviolability of United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) schools;
11. Also deplores the continuous Israeli closure of the Gaza Strip, which harmfully affects the free and sustained movement of personnel, students and humanitarian relief items and requests Israel to immediately ease this closure;
12. Thanks the Director-General for initiatives that have already been implemented in Gaza in the fields of education, culture and youth and for the safety of media professionals, calls upon her to continue her active involvement in the reconstruction of Gaza's damaged educational and cultural components and reiterates, in this regard, its request to her to upgrade the UNESCO Antenna in Gaza and to organize, as soon as possible, an information meeting on the current situation in Gaza in the fields of competence of UNESCO and on the outcome of the projects conducted by UNESCO;
30.111 The two Palestinian sites of Al-Haram Al-lbrahimi/Tomb of the Patriarchs in Al-Khalil/Hebron and the Bilal lbn Rabah Mosque/Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem
13. Reaffirms that the two concerned sites located in Al-Khalil/Hebron and in Bethlehem are an integral part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and shares the conviction affirmed by the international community that the two sites are of religious significance for Judaism, Christianity and Islam;
14. Deplores the ongoing Israeli excavations, works, construction of private roads for settlers and of a Wall inside the Old City of Al-Khalil/Hebron which are illegal under international law and harmfully affect the authenticity and integrity of the site, and the subsequent denial of freedom of movement and freedom of access to places of worship and asks Israel, the occupying Power, to end all violations which are not in conformity with the provisions of relevant UNESCO conventions, resolutions and decisions;
15. Regrets the visual impact of the Wall on the site of Bilal Ibn Rabah Mosque/Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem as well as the strict ban on access of Palestinian Christian and Muslim worshippers to the site, and demands that the Israeli authorities restore the original character of the landscape around the site and to lift the ban on access to it;
16. Decides to include these matters under an item entitled "Occupied Palestine" in the agenda at its 202nd session, and invites the Director-General to submit to it a progress report thereon.
Item 31 Implementation of 38 C/Resolution 72 and 200 EX/Decision 26 concerning educational and cultural institutions in the Occupied Arab territories4 (201 EX/31)
22. After considering this item, the Programme and External Relations Commission recommended that the Executive Board adopt the following draft decision:
I. OCCUPIED PALESTINE
1. Recalling 185 EX/Decision 36 and 38 C/Resolution 72 as well as Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with regard to the right to education, Articles 4, 50 and 94 of the Fourth Geneva Convention with regard to the denial of the right of children to education, as well as the Hague Convention (1954) and its additional Protocols and the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972), also recalling the International Court of Justice's Advisory Opinion of 9 July 2004 on the "Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory",
2. Having examined documents 201 EX/31 and 201 EX/30,
3. Committed to the safeguarding of monuments, works of art, manuscripts, books and other historical and cultural properties to be protected in the event of conflict, as well as the safeguarding of schools and all educational facilities,
4. Deplores the damaging impact of the military confrontations on the fields of competence of UNESCO in the Gaza Strip, particularly education and cultural institutions and calls for ending measures that prevent the reconstruction and/or rehabilitation of schools in the Gaza Strip;
5. Deeply concerned by the Israeli army violations against Palestinian universities and schools, demands that the Israeli authorities immediately halt actions that violate UNESCO principles and the provisions of the world declaration for education for all (1990) and reaffirms, in this regard, that schools, universities and cultural heritage sites enjoy special protection and should not be targeted;
6. Expresses its growing concern about the harmful impact of the Wall on the activities of educational and cultural institutions, and demands, in this regard, that Israel, the occupying Power, cease all of its settlement activities, including the construction of the Wall and other measures aimed at altering the character, status and demographic composition of the Occupied Palestinian territory, including in and around East Jerusalem and the Cremisan Monastery in the Bethlehem Governorate, which harm the social fabric of Palestinian society and prevent Palestinian school children and students from exercising fully their right to education;
7. Notes with deep concern the Israeli censorship of the Palestinian curricula of schools and universities in East Jerusalem, and urqes the Israeli authorities to immediately halt this censorship;
8. Expresses its appreciation for the substantial contributions of all concerned Member States and intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations to UNESCO's action in Palestine as well as for building of schools for Palestinian children such as the school of Tana, near Nablus and the two schools in Khan Al-Ahmar and in Abu Nuwar near Jerusalem, and appeals to them to continue assisting UNESCO in this endeavour;
9. Deeply regrets the destruction by the Israeli authorities of schools, including the school in Abu Nuwar and the school in Tana, and calls on the Israeli authorities to halt plans for further demolition, including of the school in Khan Al-Ahmar;
10. Thanks the Director-General for the results that have been obtained in favour of the protection, reconstruction, rehabilitation and restoration of the Palestinian archaeological sites and cultural heritage, invites her to reinforce her action in this regard and to strengthen UNESCO's assistance to the Palestinian educational and cultural institutions in order to address the needs for capacity building in UNESCO's fields of competence by, inter alia, expanding the financial assistance programme for Palestinian students and school children, and requests her to organize, as soon as possible, the ninth meeting of the Joint UNESCO-Palestine Committee;
3 After considering this item, the Programme and External Relations Commission (PX) recommended by a vote taken by roll-call that the Executive Board adopt the draft decision contained in document 201 EX/PX/DR.30.1, with 22 votes in favour, 10 votes against and 23 abstentions:
The following States having voted for the adoption: Algeria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chad, China, Egypt, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Lebanon, Malaysia, Mauritius, Morocco, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Russian Federation, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan, Sweden, Viet Nam.
The following States having voted against: Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Paraguay, Togo, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America.
Abstentions: Albania, Argentina, Cameroon, Cate d'Ivoire, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, France, Ghana, Guinea, Haiti, India, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Mozambique, Republic of Korea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda.
Absent: Nepal, Serbia, Turkmenistan.
4 After considering this item, the Programme and External Relations Commission (PX) recommended by a vote taken by roll-call that the Executive Board adopt the draft decision contained in document 201 EX/PX/DR.31.2, with 38 votes in favour, 1 vote against and 18 abstentions:
The following States having voted for the adoption: Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chad, China, Egypt, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan , Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Senegal, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sudan, Sweden, Ukraine, Viet Nam.
The following State having voted against: United States of America.
Abstentions: Cameroon, Cate d'Ivoire, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ghana, Guinea, Haiti, India, Kenya, Mozambique, Nepal, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sri Lanka, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.