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UNESCO silent as Hamas bulldozes world heritage site to make terrorist training camp

UNESCO session in Paris busy targeting Israel in 5 agenda items

GENEVA, April 15– In an urgent letter sent today to UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova , UN Watch demanded immediate action to stop the Hamas bulldozing of a 3000-year-old Gaza harbour for use as a terrorist training camp, as reported by Al Monitor Palestine Pulse. A copy was also sent to EU foreign minister Catherine Ashton calling on the EU to take action.

The partial destruction of the ancient Anthedon Harbor—which includes the ruins of a Roman temple and archaeological remains from the Persian, Hellenistic, and Byzantine eras—comes exactly one year after the area was nominated by new UNESCO member state Palestine as a World Heritage site.

UN Watch called on Bokova to bring the issue before the UNESCO Executive Board now meeting in Paris.

Although the biannual UNESCO meeting, which runs until April 26, lists five agenda items concerning Palestinian issues—which US Ambassador Killion has described as "highly politicized" and designed to "single out Israel"—there is currently no scheduled discussion to address the month-long Hamas bulldozing of the proposed heritage site for use as a terrorist training camp.

As is the norm at UNESCO, Israel is the only country in the world targeted for criticism at this month's Executive Board session. In this respect, UNESCO arguably ranks as the most anti-Israel agency in the United Nations system.

Last year, only after a major UN Watch campaign, UNESCO exceptionally condemned Syria. Yet nothing is planned on Syria in the current session; on the contrary, the murderous Assad regime continues to hold one of 30 coveted seats on UNESCO's human rights committee, absurdly allowing it to judge the human rights records of other countries.