Unesco recognises Hebron as Palestinian world heritage site

Posted July 08, 2017

In a secret ballot vote 12 countries approved the inscription of Hebron's Old Town and the Cave, three objected and six abstained.

The Palestinian West Bank city of Hebron was declared a world heritage site in danger by the UN's cultural body on Friday. "This is a historical development because it stressed that Hebron and the Ibrahimi Mosque historically belong to the Palestinian people", said Palestinian Minister of Tourism Rula Maayah. "Not a "Jewish" site?!" he added, listing the biblical figures said to be buried there. It comprises virtually all Israeli settlements and most of the West Bank's territory, but only 10 percent of its Palestinian population. Many viewed Friday's UNESCO decision as the latest example of an ingrained anti-Israel bias at the United Nations and its institutions, where Israel and its allies are outnumbered by Arab countries and their supporters.

Israel's Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon reacted and said, "This attempt to sever the ties between Israel and Hebron is shameful and offensive, and eliminates UNESCO's last remaining shred of credibility".

Calling Israel the "occupying power", the measure said the United Nations body "regrets the failure of the Israeli occupying authorities to cease the persistent excavations, tunneling, works, projects and other illegal practices in East Jerusalem, particularly in and around the Old City of Jerusalem, which are illegal under global law".

Israel has accused UNESCO of making a politically motivated move, part of what it says is an attempt to deny the Jewish character and heritage of certain key sites in the Holy Land.

While the USA is still on UNESCO's 58-member Executive Board, it no longer has voting rights in its General Conference.

Red Cross Faces 'Critical' Blood Shortage, Calls For Donations
The Blood Bank of Delmarva is also in need of donations of all blood types, but especially O Negative, the universal blood type. Over the past two months, donations have been down and the organization is 61,000 short of what is needed.

It is the second holiest site in Judaism and the fourth in Islam. "Israel won't renew cooperation with UNESCO as long as it continues to serve as a tool for political attacks instead of being a professional organization".

The director of the Ibrahimi Mosque, Sheikh Hefzi Abu Zneneh hailed the decision.

The Jewish people's glorious history in Israel started in Hebron. The Israeli envoy claimed he was promised the vote would take place behind a curtain, hoping that would enable delegates from moderate Arab states to reject the Palestinian-led bid.

There have been scores of "hit and run" incidents targeting Palestinians in different parts of the occupied West Bank, with a lot of them largely going uninvestigated by Israeli authorities. In 1929, Arabs killed 67 Jews in a rampage still seared into Israeli minds.

Initial reports indicate that the Palestinian, identified as Omar Ahmad Issa, 37, was riding a motorcycle when he was struck by the Israeli vehicle in what appears to be a traffic accident.