US, Israel to quit UNESCO at end of 2018

Xinhua/ | Updated: 2017-10-13 10:21

US, Israel to quit UNESCO at end of 2018

A general view shows the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris, France, Oc 4, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

Israel on Thursday welcomed US pulling out of the UN's cultural organization, announcing the Jewish state was considering a similar move due to the body's "anti-Israel" bias.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed US'withdrawal as "a brave and moral decision."

A statement released by the PM's office said that Netanyahu had instructed the Foreign Ministry to prepare Israel's withdrawal from UNESCO. Israel would pull out on the same date as the US.

Netanyahu accused UNESCO of "becoming a Theater of Absurd because instead of preserving history, it twists it."

Earlier this year, UNESCO triggered Israel's anger after it listed Hebron, a city in the occupied West Bank, as a world heritage site in the "State of Palestine."

In October 2016, Israel suspended its ties with UNESCO after the organization voted in favor of a resolution that warns over the escalating violence around the holy site in East Jerusalem, a territory that Israel seized in 1967 and annexed shortly later.

Israel accused UNESCO of denying the Jewish link to the Temple Mount, a historic site destroyed in 70 AD and is nowadays a Muslim holy site called the Noble Sanctuary.

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