Israel joins U.S. in withdrawing from UNESCO

- Israel announces withdrawal from UNESCO less than 24 hours after the U.S..

- U.S. opposes any move by UN agencies to recognise Palestine as a State.

- Netayanu instructed Israel's foreign ministry to prepare for withdrawal.
After watching the U.S. announce on Thursday that it is withdrawing from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Israel has also disclosed that
it is preparing to withdraw from the UN agency.

In a statement announcing its withdrawal, Israel called the US administration's decision "courageous and moral", and accused UNESCO of becoming a "theatre of the absurd".

"The prime minister instructed the foreign ministry to prepare Israel's withdrawal from the organisation alongside the United States," Benjamin Netayanu's office said in a statement.

Irina Bokova, the outgoing UNESCO head, called the US withdrawal a "loss to multilateralism", saying she is convinced that "UNESCO has never been so important for the US, or the US for UNESCO".

The US opposes any move by UN bodies to recognise the Palestinians as a state, insisting that this must await a negotiated Middle East peace deal.

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