Dr. Hanan Ashrawi calls on UNESCO to defend Palestinian heritage from Israeli attacks

The member of the PLO Executive Committee Dr. Hanan Ashrawi has welcomed the adoption of two resolutions by the Executive Committee of the UNESCO on the need to preserve educational and cultural institutions in Palestine as well as protect heritage sites in occupied Jerusalem, Hebron and other Palestinian cities. 
 
She said in a statement sent to Syria Times that these resolutions reiterate UNESCO’s role and mandate and reaffirm the need to confront the dangerous and illegal actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, against these heritage sites. However, a more proactive role is needed from UNESCO, in line with its mandate.
 
"In light of the escalating and illegal Israeli actions against Palestinian heritage sites in Jerusalem, Hebron, and the Battir Terraces in the Bethlehem District, including Israel’s illegal annexation plans that specifically target historical and archeological sites in Palestine, we expect more from UNESCO and the Director General, Ms. Audrey Azoulay. In particular, UNESCO needs to engage proactively in defending Palestinian heritage sites inscribed as world heritage at the UNESCO and to be a vocal advocate for the cultural and educational rights of the Palestinian people, which are under systemic attack by Israel," Dr. Ashrawi added. 
 
She called on Ms. Azoulay to use the standing and influence of her office to carry out her mandate in Palestine. 
 
"Silence in the face of the ongoing Israeli assault against Palestinian heritage, narrative, and history runs contrary to the mandate and principles of UNESCO," the PLO official concluded. 
 
Basma Qaddour
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