Unesco designated Hebron and the two adjoined shrines at its heart - the Jewish Tomb of the Patriarchs and the Muslim Ibrahimi Mosque - a "Palestinian World Heritage Site in Danger".
Israeli officials, such as Michael Oren, deputy minister in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office, have called on the Trump administration to leave UNESCO completely, and members of the Jewish community in Hebron reiterated that demand of Israel's historic ally on Friday. No UNESCO lies and FAKE HISTORY can change that.
Unesco on Friday (July 7) declared the Old City of Hebron a protected heritage site in a secret ballot, an issue which has triggered a new Israeli-Palestinian spat at the global body.
The 32 Democratic members who signed the letter were subjected to a fierce attack by the pro-Israel lobby in the US.
Brought by the Palestinians, the resolution declared Hebron's Old City, including areas where settlers live, to be an area of outstanding universal value.
But Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said UNESCO's "automatic Arab majority succeeded in passing the proposed resolution that attempts to appropriate the national symbols of the Jewish people".
Known to Muslims as the Ibrahami Mosque and to Jews as the Tomb of the Patriarchs, the landmark is venerated in both religions as the gravesite of the biblical patriarch Abraham, his son Isaac and grandson Jacob.
On Tuesday in a separate vote, the heritage committee backed a resolution condemning Israeli actions in Jerusalem (Al-Quds), sparking Israeli anger. A thousand years later, during the first Jewish revolt against the Romans, the city was the scene of extensive fighting in which many Jews were killed.
It is one of the most important religious sites to Muslims and Jews alike. The resolution also criticized the Israeli government for its archaeological projects in the capital and in Hebron. She would not elaborate, saying the exact wording would be decided later. Months after the 1967 war, when Israel won the West Bank from Jordan, Jewish settlers came back to the city.
In a secret ballot, 12 countries voted in favor, three voted against and six abstained. Several states objected, leading to a shouting match between delegates, and Israeli Ambassador Carmel Shama-Hacohen storming to the desk of the session's chairman to make Israel's case.
- 2014: UNESCO abruptly cancels an exhibit on its grounds titled "The 3,500 Year Relationship of the Jewish People and the Land of Israel" which was sponsored together with the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
By listing sites on the United Nations cultural organisation's World Heritage in Danger list, UNESCO seeks to mobilise the global community to protect them. And the site is in danger?