United Nations designates Hebron tomb revered within Jewish faith as Palestinian heritage site

Ahead Of New Vote, UNESCO's Website Acknowledges Jewish History of Hebron

The focal point of the decision is a site revered by Muslims as Ibrahimi Mosque and by Jews as the Tomb of the Patriarchs.

In a secret ballot, 12 countries voted in favor, three voted against and six abstained.

Israel on Friday slammed as "shameful" a resolution by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee to declare the West Bank's old city of Hebron a World Heritage site in danger.

"They are trying to rewrite Jewish history and the history of the region", he said.

Earlier this week, Israel protested against another resolution passed by the World Heritage Committee that referred to it as the "occupying power" in Jerusalem's Old City, which includes sites sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims.

Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu called that "another delusional Unesco decision" and ordered that $1 million (€877,000) be diverted from Israel's United Nations funding to establish a museum and other projects covering Jewish heritage in Hebron.

Palestinian medical sources have reported, Friday, that a man from the al-Khader town, south of the West Bank city of Bethlehem, was killed after being struck by an Israeli vehicle at bypass road #60, west of Bethlehem.

Worldwide law views the West Bank and East Jerusalem as "occupied territories" and considers all Jewish settlement-building activity on the land to be illegal. "It is only in those places where Israel is, such as Hebron, that freedom of religion for all is ensured", Netanyahu said. The decision was celebrated by Palestinians and campaigners who saw it as a stepping stone on the path to giving the Territories full statehood.

The resolution is seen as a victory for Palestinian diplomacy and would be cited by Israel as a fresh example of what it alleges is the UN's inherent anti-Israel bias. This resolution was ratified by UNESCO's executive board in May 2017.

The Jewish people's glorious history in Israel started in Hebron.

UNESCO's decision sparked a fiery response from Israeli leaders, who feel the organization is being used as a political tool in the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

The city is divided, in accordance with worldwide agreements, between Palestinian and Israeli control.

The Palestinian foreign ministry hailed Friday's decision a "success" for Palestinian diplomacy. In 1929, Arabs killed 67 Jews in a rampage still seared into Israeli minds. Many of the Palestinians involved in the current wave of attacks that began in 2005 came from Hebron.

"They have taken one of the foundational landmarks of Jewish history and have appropriated it as their own", he adds.

Israeli and Palestinian rescue and security teams participated Wednesday in a joint drill simulating an emergency rescue exercise following a vehicle crash.



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