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Palestinians to claim Tomb of Patriarchs on World Heritage List
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Palestinians to claim Tomb of Patriarchs on World Heritage List

The World Heritage Committee is set to debate inscribing the Old City of Hebron - including its Tomb of the Patriarchs - to the “State of Palestine” when it meets from July 2 to 12 in Krakow, Poland.

“This is a new front in the war over the holy places that the Palestinians are trying to ignite as part of their propaganda campaign against Israel and the history of the Jewish people,” Israel’s Ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama HaCohen told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.

The World Heritage Committee operates under the auspices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.

For the last three years, Israel has waged a stiff battle at UNESCO to prevent the Palestinians from linguistically reclassifying Judaism’s holiest site, the Temple Mount, solely as the Muslim religious site known as al-Haram al-Sharif.

“This is a clear continuation of the attacks and hallucinatory outrageous votes in UNESCO regarding Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and the Western Wall,” Shama HaCohen said, drawing a clear link between the two battles for Israel’s Jewish heritage.

UNESCO recognised Palestine as a state in 2011, a move that allowed the Palestinian Authority to inscribe two sites on the World Heritage List: Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity and the pilgrimage route in 2012; and the ancient terraces of Battir in 2014.

It fast-tracked both inscriptions by claiming the sites were endangered. It is now making the same argument with regard to Hebron’s Old City. This includes the Tomb’s Herodian structure that houses both Jewish places of worship and the Ibrahimi Mosque.

If the 21-member committee approves the PA’s request, it would mark the first time that a Jewish holy site under Israeli control was registered to the “State of Palestine.”

The World Heritage Committee on Thursday publicised the list of 35 sites that it plans to consider inscribing, including Hebron. But PA documents to explain the rationale for the inscription as well as a technical evaluation by a professional subgroup of the World Heritage Committee have yet to be posted on UNESCO’s website.

 Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post

Friday, June 16, 2017
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