A Palestinian effort to have a United Nations agency declare Judaism’s holiest site a Muslim holy site is “an attempt to distort history,” Israel said.
UNESCO, the U.N.’s cultural body, is scheduled to vote Tuesday on the proposal concerning the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
In a statement Monday, Israel’s Foreign Ministry called the proposal “an attempt to distort history and blur the connection between the Jewish people and its holiest place and to create a false reality,” the Times of Israel reported.
Six Muslim Arab countries submitted the UNESCO proposal on behalf of the Palestinians. The proposal refers to Jerusalem as “the occupied capital of Palestine,” according to Ynet.
The proposal is believed to have a good chance of passing because the majority of UNESCO’s members have historically supported Palestinian bids.
Israel’s deputy foreign minister, Tzipi Hotovely, condemned the proposal, saying, “This shameful and deceitful Palestinian attempt to rewrite history will fail the test of reality.”
The Wall, known in Hebrew as the Kotel, is believed to be one of the few remnants of the retaining wall of the ancient Temple, which the Romans destroyed nearly 2,000 years ago. A venue for Jewish prayer services and individual Jewish prayer, the Wall is a stop on most tours of Israel.
It is adjacent to the Temple Mount, a site holy to both Jews and Muslims.