UNESCO delegation visits Jerusalem

May 20, 2013 at 5:30 AM
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JERUSALEM, May 20 (UPI) -- A UNESCO delegation is visiting Jerusalem to inspect preservation work in the Old City, Israeli officials said.

The delegation arrived Sunday as part of a deal with Israel in exchange for the Palestinians' agreement to postpone five anti-Israeli resolutions pending before the U.N. Educational Scientific Cultural Organization, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The resolutions deal with the Temple Mount, the Mughrabi Bridge, which leads from the Western Wall to the Temple Mount, Hebron, Gaza, and Bethlehem, the newspaper said. The bridge has been the subject of contention since the original ramp collapsed in a 2004 snowstorm and repair on the bridge in 2007 led to widespread rioting by Muslims in Jordan and Jerusalem.

Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs is hosting the UNESCO delegation as Israel is responsible for maintaining and preserving the area, the Post said.

In April, during a session before the UNESCO Executive Board, Israel and the Palestinians agreed to permit a delegation to visit the Old City and assess the state of conservation, its website said.

In 2011, the U.N. body accepted Palestine as a member, a move that angered both Jerusalem and Washington.

Jerusalem's Old City was added to the list of World Heritage sites in 1981 and a year later was placed on a list of "endangered" World Heritage sites.

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