The US and Israel were not satisfied with the Palestinian membership. In addition to condemning this step, the US announced that it had stopped funding the UNESCO, while Israel said it was reconsidering cooperating with the organization.
US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters Monday that admitting Palestine as a member of the UNESCO was “regrettable, premature and undermines our shared goal of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.”
For its part, Israel said it was considering imposing sanctions on the Palestinian authority after it was granted full membership in the UNESCO, Haaretz reported Tuesday.
The Israeli daily stated that Netanyahu will be meeting with his senior ministers to discuss this issue, and quoted “senior” Israeli officials as saying that “punitive measures against the Palestinians are expected.”
“Among the ideas are cancelling the VIP status of senior Palestinian officials which enables them to cross through Israeli checkpoints, increasing settlement construction, and halting the transfer of tax money which Israel collects for the Palestinian Authority,” Haaretz clarified.
On the other hand, the Palestinian Resistance Movement Hamas congratulated the Palestinians, thanked the countries that voted for the membership, and said that this step will help protect the Palestinian heritage and holy cities.
UNESCO is the first UN organization that the Palestinians succeeded in joining.
France, Brazil, Russia, China, India, and South Africa voted in favor of the membership, the United States, Canada and Germany voted against it, and Britain abstained.
The French Ministry assured in a statement it issued that “Palestine has the right to become a member of UNESCO whose vocation is to work towards generalizing a culture of peace within the international community.”