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A general view of the West Bank city of Hebron with the Cave of the Patriarchs, on January 18, 2017.

The Palestinian West Bank city of Hebron was declared a world heritage site in danger by the UN's cultural body on Friday.

UNESCO's World Heritage Committee is expected to vote Friday on a resolution brought by the Palestinians declaring Hebron's Old City, including where the settlers live, an area of outstanding universal value.

"They are trying to rewrite Jewish history and the history of the region", Israeli Foreign Ministry Spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon told Agence France-Presse.

The city's old souk has also been closed down with Palestinians being forbidden access to it as Shuhada Street now leads to an illegal Jewish only settlement.

The move has been met with applause by Palestinians, and condemnation from Israel.

The decision was taken in Krakow, Poland, on a proposal from the Palestinian side.

Over the centuries, Romans, Jews, Crusaders, Mamluks and the British have conquered the city, which today lies in the southern part of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank.

All this points to the fact that the United Nations recognises the diplomatic battle that Palestinians are faced with day after day, while also understanding the significance of the city of Hebron.

Israel announced in May that it would withhold $1 million in its funding for the United Nations following the passage by UNESCO of a resolution that condemned the country's sovereignty in Jerusalem. She would not comment on whether Hebron had been recognised as Palestinian, saying the exact wording would be decided later.

The vote passed 12-3, with six abstentions. "Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah - our patriarchs and matriarchs!".

Ending his fiery speech to the committee immediately after the vote, Shama-HaCohen said he had to take a call from his "plumber", the Times of Israel reported.

"And it's much (more) important than the decision that you just adopted", he said.

Israel, which maintains a military occupation of the city, said the wording did not give enough prominence to Jewish history in Hebron.

Israel had pushed to have a secret ballot in order to enable moderate Arab countries to vote against the Palestinian bid.

Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, said the vote "does no one any good and causes much harm".

It is home to the Ibrahimi Mosque, believed to be burial place of Abraham and referred to by Jews as the Tomb of the Patriarchs, and the Old City, where many Palestinian homes and businesses have been shuttered by the Israelis since the early 2000s.

Israeli soldiers and police officers abducted, Sunday, 37 Palestinian workers, reportedly for trying to enter Jerusalem without permits. It does not mention any Muslim, Jewish or Christian claim to the city and simply determines that the site is eligible for designation as a world heritage site and also merits inclusion on UNESCO's "in danger" list.

Hebron has a long history of violence. It later annexed East Jerusalem al-Quds in a move not recognized by the worldwide community.

Hashlamoun, who also presides over the UNESCO Club in Hebron, said, "Putting Hebron on the world heritage endangered list supports peace and opposes violence and terror".


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