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Israel Rejects U.N. Effort to Open Palestinian University in Jerusalem

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Israel has rebuffed an effort by U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali to send an emissary to Jerusalem to study opening a Palestinian university there.

Boutros-Ghali proposed sending the representative to comply with his obligations under a General Assembly resolution first passed in 1980 and reaffirmed most recently last year.

The resolution was titled “University of Jerusalem ‘Al-Quds’ for Palestine Refugees.” Al-Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem.

Israel has annually voted against the measure and turned down requests by U.N. representatives to visit and conduct feasibility studies for the university. As a result, it has been regularly condemned at General Assembly sessions for its “obstructionist” attitude in the matter.

The suggested visit “would not serve any useful purpose,” Gad Yaacobi, Israel’s permanent representative to the United Nations, wrote in a letter to the secretary-general.

Meanwhile, Israel has received an apology from the United Nations for the existence of official U.N. documents that list representatives of the Palestine Liberation Organization as delegates from a member nation.

The PLO has observer status at the world body and is not represented as a country.

Yaacobi gave as an example the June 19 edition of the Journal of the United Nations, which reported, “Statements were made by the representatives of Italy, the Sudan, Ukraine, the United States and Palestine.”

In a response, a U.N. official said that the instances specifically mentioned by Yaacobi “had been made inadvertently and that every effort would be made to avoid recurrences thereof in the future.”

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