Proposal to alter heritage status of Jerusalem deplored

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Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO. Photo: UNESCO/Ania Freindorf

A proposal to change the status of one of Judaism's most holy sites has been deplored by the head of the UN cultural agency, UNESCO.

The proposal to alter the heritage status of the Western Wall in Jerusalem has been put before the Executive Board of UNESCO.

Daniel Dickinson reports.

Six Arab countries reportedly submitted the draft resolution to the UNESCO board to reclassify the Western Wall in Jerusalem as part of the Al Aqsa compound.

The compound is one of Islam's most revered religious sites.

The head of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, said she deplored the organization's own board for a move which she said could further "incite tensions."

She added that the protection of cultural heritage "should not be taken hostage."

Israel has been working to block the resolution, reportedly calling it an attempt to “distort history.”

Violence has escalated in recent weeks over Palestinian concerns that Israel was planning to change visiting rules for the Al Aqsa compound.

A total of 50 people, the majority Palestinians have reportedly been killed in clashes.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations.

Duration: 51″

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