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Sunday, June 16, 2013

'Palestinians': 'Israel tricked us'

You might recall that back in December, the 'Palestinians' submitted a heritage site to UNESCO for the 'ancient Roman irrigation network of Battir.' Of course, that 'ancient Roman irrigation network had nothing to do with the 'Palestinians.' As Giulio Meotti wrote:
Battir, however, is not “a Palestinian village” with an old irrigation system, it’s the holy site of the ancient Jewish fortress of Betar, the site of the last organized resistance of the Jews to Roman rule in 135 C.E. during the historically documenteed Bar Kochba rebellion.
But in the UNESCO protocols there is no mention of Betar.
Two months ago, the United States brokered a deal between Israel and the 'Palestinians' pursuant to which the 'Palestinians' would drop five items from their 'condemn Israel' agenda at UNESCO, and in return, Israel would do the following (as reported by JPost):
As part of the agreement brokered by the US between the PA, Jordan and Israel, Israel has in return agreed to allow UNESCO experts to survey a number of sites in Jerusalem. Israel has also agreed to take part in UNESCO meetings about the Mugrabi Bridge, which runs from the Western Wall plaza to the Temple Mount and which has been a source of conflict between Israel and the Waqf Muslim religious trust. 
The 'Palestinians' are now claiming that they dropped their application to have the 'ancient Roman irrigation system' at Battir declared a world heritage site as a result of that deal.

But that's a lie. Battir was never supposed to be part of the deal.
The five resolutions that the Palestinians temporarily shelved in UNESCO dealt with the Temple Mount, the Mughrabi Bridge leading to the Temple Mount from the Western Wall Plaza, Bethlehem, Hebron and Gaza.
The 'Palestinians' are also now claiming that the entire deal was a 'trick' by Israel.
Experts in Battir and Bethlehem who helped draft the application told Ma’an that the Palestinian delegation in Paris received a completed file in January. It should have submitted it by a February deadline but did not, the officials said. This is because in early 2013, Palestinian and Israeli officials worked out an informal agreement to freeze the nomination, a PLO official with knowledge of the decision said.

In return, the Israeli government indicated it would permit the UN agency to send an investigative team to Jerusalem, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the sensitive negotiations with Israel.

“All the paperwork was ready for the Battir application ... It was stopped in exchange for the delegation to Jerusalem,” the official explained.

Israel ended up reneging on the deal weeks after the deadline to submit Battir had passed.

“What we did was bad. It was a really big mistake ... They were never going to allow UN investigators into their ‘undivided, eternal capital,’” the official added, referring to Israel's vision for Jerusalem.
But Israel says Battir was never part of the deal, and Israeli officials don't understand why the 'Palestinians' dropped it.
Israeli officials say they were unaware of the change of plans and denied that delaying or canceling the vote at UNESCO was part of the deal to bring the delegation to Jerusalem.

“This comes as a surprise,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor. “I really can’t think about why they would do that. They did seem very keen on pushing that forward.”

Palmor told Ma'an late Saturday that the informal deal to bring the UNESCO delegation to Jerusalem included shelving five pro-Palestinian resolutions at the UN, but not Battir’s UNESCO application. “As far as I know, the concrete measure was (only) to freeze a number of resolutions.”
And the Maan piece tells a big lie:
Israel ended up reneging on the deal weeks after the deadline to submit Battir had passed. 
That's not true. First of all, the application had to be submitted in February as Maan itself admits.
Experts in Battir and Bethlehem who helped draft the application told Ma’an that the Palestinian delegation in Paris received a completed file in January. It should have submitted it by a February deadline but did not, the officials said. This is because in early 2013, Palestinian and Israeli officials worked out an informal agreement to freeze the nomination, a PLO official with knowledge of the decision said. 
The deal that allowed the inspection in Jerusalem to take place was reached in April.  It therefore had nothing to do with Battir.

Second, Israel did intend to host the UNESCO delegation in May. It was to have been hosted by Israel's Foreign Ministry.
One Foreign Ministry official characterized the visit as “professional” and not political, and said the delegation would neither go to the Temple Mount nor deal with the issue of the Mughrabi Bridge.

...

According to a UNESCO statement, the mission’s goals are to “examine the state of conservation of the Old City of Jerusalem and its walls, a World Heritage site.” The mission is made up of experts from UNESCO’s World Heritage Center, the International Council on Monuments and Sites, and the International Center for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property. It is to present its report and recommendations before the beginning of the World Heritage Committee’s annual meeting on June 1.
The Foreign Ministry is hosting the delegation, a ministry official said, since Israel is “the responsible party for maintaining and preserving” the site.

...

Under the deal, Israel agreed to attend a UNESCO meeting to be held in June in Paris to discuss the Mughrabi Bridge.
But at the last minute, the 'inspection' was canceled. This is from the JPost at the time.
The spokesman said that contrary to an agreement brokered in April at UNESCO's headquarters in Paris, the PA was now insisting on taking the delegation to the Temple Mount, and meeting with Palestinian political  personalities, not just "engineers, architects and professional people".
"We have said this was unacceptable" the spokesman said. "Hopefully the delegation is postponed, and not cancelled."
It was not immediately clear whether some of the delegation participants had already arrived in the country.
So the inspection was canceled because the 'Palestinians' violated the agreement, and Battir was never supposed to be part of the UNESCO deal in the first place. Maan is telling more 'Palestinian' lies. 

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1 Comments:

At 5:42 PM, Blogger Empress Trudy said...

Israel should declare unilaterally that the nation language of "Palestine" is Latin.

 

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