UNESCO puts city of Hebron on its heritage in danger list

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. Twelve member states voted in favor of the resolution, which the Palestinians initially put forward, while only three were against it. "It represents an affront to history", Haley said in a statement.

Israel rejected the idea, with foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon saying the Palestinians were "trying to rewrite Jewish history and the history of the region".

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. "Hebron's Old City and holy site is under threat due to the irresponsible, illegal, and highly damaging actions of Israel, the occupying Power, which maintains a regime of separation and discrimination in the city based on ethnic background and religion".

In May Israel reacted furiously after UNESCO passed a separate resolution on Jerusalem (Al-Quds), and has recently prevented UNESCO researchers from visiting Hebron.

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

Some other notable UNESCO decisions.

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

Bennett, who also heads Israel's national UNESCO Committee, added, "Israel will not resume its cooperation with UNESCO so long as it remains a political tool, rather than professional organization".

"In another thousand years, the Cave of the Patriarchs will remain under Jewish sovereignty and UNESCO will cease to exist as a heritage organization, " said. In fact, the resolution did not mention the Cave of the Machpela, and does not designate the site as Palestinian; Netanyahu may be inferring that designation based on the committee's decision to accept a request from the "state of Palestine".

In 1929, as a result of an Arab pogrom in which 67 Jews were murdered, the entire Jewish community fled the city, with Hebron becoming temporarily devoid of Jews.

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

Subsequent to the resolution, Netanyahu called it in a Facebook posting "delusional" and said that "this time they determined that the Cave of the Machpela is Palestinian, meaning it is not Jewish". More generally, it marked a week's worth of disturbances in British-controlled Palestine, in which Arabs attacked and killed their Jewish neighbors, with there being some attacks by Jews on Arabs.

  • Joey Payne