United Nations Headquarters
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The Foreign Ministry announced Thursday the decision to appoint Eli Lev as Israel's new ambassador to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Lev will take office this summer and will remain in the position until Israel's planned withdrawal from UNESCO, slated to take place by December 2018. At that time, Lev will remain the Israeli representative to the OECD institutions.

Lev will replace the current ambassador, Carmel Shama Hacohen, who had resisted anti-Israel sanctions at UNESCO - such as measures intended to sever the connection between Jerusalem and the Jewish people.

Israel announced in December that it would leave UNESCO, shortly after the U.S. State Department declared that the U.S. would be leaving UNESCO by 2019 due to its anti-Israel bias.

Last year, UNESCO declared the ancient city of Hevron, King David’s first capital and home to the tomb of the biblical patriarchs, an endangered Palestinian heritage site.

Shortly before that resolution, , UNESCO passed resolutions declaring that Israel has no rights to Jerusalem, and described the Temple Mount and Old City of Jerusalem as Muslim holy sites.

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