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September 14, 2017 9:12 am

UN World Tourism Body Delays Decision on Palestinian Membership

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (left) with former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the U.N. Sept. 23, 2011. Photo: UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras. – The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) announced on Tuesday it will postpone a decision on whether to allow the Palestinian Authority (PA) to join the organization until its next session in 2019.

The world body’s decision follows the PA’s Ministry of Tourism application last year for membership for “Palestine” into the organization.

“Israel has taken all diplomatic measures to block the request,” said an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman ahead of the UNWTO’s announcement, reported the Jerusalem Post.

“We are not expecting any negative impact on Israel or its continued activity in the organization — the expected damage will be to the organization itself.”

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If the Palestinian bid is successful, the UNWTO would be the second UN organization to grant the Palestinians membership behind UNESCO.

Last year, UNESCO passed several anti-Israel resolutions that denied the Jewish state’s sovereignty and Jewish ties to Jerusalem and Hebron, two of Judaism’s holiest cities.

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