UNESCO calls Hebron endangered Palestinian world heritage site, Israel slams decision

Israel Has No Sovereignty over Jerusalem: UNESCO

Netanyahu announced that Israel would further reduce its membership dues to the agency by $1 million in protest at the decision, and would instead spend the funds on establishing a museum of Jewish heritage in the Hebron area.

The Palestinians hailed the vote as a diplomatic victory.

"It's disappointing and embarrassing to see UNESCO denying history and distorting reality time after time to knowingly serve those who try to wipe the Jewish state off the map", he said, according to local news site Haaretz.

Photo A market in the old city of Hebron, which was designated as a World Heritage site in danger by Unesco on Friday. She would not comment on whether Hebron had been recognised as Palestinian, saying the exact wording would be decided later. "Shame on @UNESCO", he wrote on Twitter after the decision taken in a secret ballot by the World Heritage Committee as it met in Krakow.

The vote means that Hebron's Old City and the Ibrahimi mosque, the place where an American Jewish settler massacred 29 Palestinians in 1994, will be added as Palestinian World Heritage sites on UNESCO's register.

Netanyahu also in a statement said he would cut $1 million from Israel's contribution to the overall United Nations budget and dedicate it to "Jewish Heritage Projects in Hebron and Kiryat Arba", a nearby Jewish settlement.

"This time, they determined that the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron is a Palestinian heritage site, meaning that it is not a Jewish site and that it is in danger". Although the text was much softer than similar resolutions passed in previous years, Israel condemned it strongly.

"The UNESCO decision on Hebron and the Tomb of Patriarchs is a moral blot".

"The connection between the Jewish People and Hebron and the Tomb of the Patriarchs is one of purchase and of history which may be without parallel in the history of peoples", Netanyahu said. Israel had pushed to have a secret ballot in order to enable moderate Arab countries to vote against the Palestinian bid.

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This will intensify the global spotlight on Hebron, a city with over 220,000 Palestinians, which is already one of the most contentious hotspots in the West Bank. Netanyahu said in a statement.

"UNESCO unfortunately succumbed to the manipulations of the Palestinian Authority to politicize holy sites", said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO.

US President Donald Trump might be working to push forward an Israeli-Palestinian peace process, but at UNESCO the battle between Israelis and Palestinians for historical legitimacy is just heating up.

Palestine's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities previously said al-Khalil urgently needed protection from "assaults that harm the exceptional worldwide value of the place".

"The UNESCO vote on Hebron is tragic on several levels". While the United Nations has questioned the legality of subsequent Israeli policies in the West Bank, the act of coming into possession of those territories was never deemed illegal at the time.

It also could bolster their efforts to fight what they believe are Israeli attempts to take over disputed religious sites in the Holy Land.

Hebron has a long history of violence. As Palestinians gathered to pray, Goldstein opened fire inside the compound, killing 29 people including children.

That's the goal of at least one Palestinian leader.

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