UNESCO votes to condemn Israel's sovereignty in Jerusalem

In Israel's latest diplomatic spat, officials summoned Carl Magnus Nesser, Sweden's ambassador to Tel Aviv, to express their "disappointment" after Sweden became the only European Union country to vote for the resolution.

Resolution 201 EX/PX/DR.30.1 declares as null and void Israel's annexation of East Jerusalem and "r$3 egrets the failure of the Israeli occupying authorities to cease the persistent excavations, tunneling, works and projects in East Jerusalem, particularly in and around the Old City of Jerusalem, which are illegal under worldwide law". Israel has long complained of bias at U.N. forums, where it and its allies are often outnumbered by Arab nations and others that support the Palestinians.

"Yesterday, UNESCO again passed a delusional resolution regarding Israel's status in Jerusalem, the capital of the Jewish People for 3,000 years", Netanyahu said, adding, "I very much appreciate the across-the-board unity of nearly all political parties in rejecting this absurd decision". This time, Italy, Britain, Holland, Greece and others also sided with it.

While other countries have ordered the planes, Israel - which receives more than $3bn a year in United States defence aid - says it will be the first outside the U.S. with an operational F-35 squadron. "Today there are more countries that support Israel or abstain than countries that oppose Israel".

Senior ministry officials expressed their "bitter disappointment" over the vote in their talk with Nesser, noting Sweden's "systematic voting" pattern against Israel, a statement read.

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"This biased and blatantly deceitful decision, and the attempts to dispute the connection between Israel and Jerusalem, will not change the simple fact that this city is the historic and eternal capital of the Jewish people", Danon said.

The picture shows the entrance of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) headquarters in Paris, France, October 17, 2016.

"For the first time in UNESCO", Netanyahu said, "more countries voted to oppose or abstained than voted in favor, and of course this is important".

Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the vote "amounts to denying Israeli sovereignty over the whole of Jerusalem and presents our country as an occupying state on the day when we celebrate our independence".

Last year, the UNESCO approved a motion that endorses the right of the Palestinians to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound and slams Israeli provocations around the holy site.

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