Israel reduces United Nations funding after Hebron shrine declared Palestinian

Posted July 08, 2017

The UN cultural agency on Friday declared the old city in the West Bank town of Hebron as a Palestinian world heritage site, a decision that outraged Israeli officials who say the move negated the deep Jewish ties to the biblical town and its ancient shrine.

- 1982: UNESCO declares the Old City of Jerusalem as a World Heritage Site "endangered" by Israel.

While such votes are usually taken by a show of hands, Poland, Jamaica, and Croatia asked for a secret ballot.

The Palestinian Rehabilitation Committee raised the UNESCO flag next to the national Palestinian flag in front of Hebron's Ibrahimi Mosque or the Tomb of the Patriarchs.

The 12-3 Unesco vote was the latest in a series of symbolic pro-Palestinian resolutions adopted by United Nations bodies, which have enraged Israel but have little real-world impact.

'This time they ruled the Tomb of the Patriarchs is a Palestinian site, meaning not a Jewish site, and it is in danger'.

Hebron's Old City has also been put on UNESCO's list of world heritage sites in danger. "Israel won't renew cooperation with UNESCO as long as it continues to serve as a tool for political attacks instead of being a professional organization".

Israel had rejected the Palestinian allegations and complained that the resolution, which refers to Hebron's "Islamic history", denied a Jewish connection to the city.

Much of the surrounding area in the Old City is made up of old stone buildings and narrow alleyways dating back to the Mamluk Period around the 13th and 14th centuries.

Israel is working to thwart attempts to ascribe Hebron's Cave of the Patriarchs to "Palestine" on Friday, a move the city's Deputy Mayor Yousef al Jabari said would clarify that the site was "a pure Muslim mosque".

Many Palestinians have been shot to death, especially since October of past year, under the pretexts of carrying out "deliberate ramming attacks", after their cars crashed into Israeli vehicles, including army and police jeeps.

About 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.

Some other notable UNESCO decisions.

His comments come after Donald Trump called on Israelis and Palestinians to make compromises for peace, saying he was "personally committed" to helping Israel reach a deal with the Palestinians.

Hebron is the oldest Jewish community in the world, with Jews having lived there nearly continuously for over 2,500 years. In 1929, Arabs killed 67 Jews in a rampage still seared into Israeli minds.