'Delusional': Israel rages after UNESCO describes Hebron as Palestinian heritage site
08 July, 2017, 00:27 | Author: Lorena Waters
Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett said that "Jewish ties to Hebron are stronger than the disgraceful UNESCO vote", while Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who lives in a West Bank settlement, called the decision "shameful".
Twelve countries on the world heritage committee reportedly voted in favour of the resolution presented by the Palestinians and strongly opposed by Israel.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on 7 July 2017 declared West Bank city of Hebron a heritage site, an issue which triggered a new Israeli-Palestinian clash.
"They are trying to rewrite Jewish history and the history of the region", he said.
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". "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". "Only in places Israel is present in, like Hebron, are religious freedoms for all, promised".
Global law views the West Bank and East Jerusalem as "occupied territories" and considers all Jewish settlement-building activity on the land to be illegal.
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The resolution is seen as a victory for Palestinian diplomacy and would be cited by Israel as a fresh example of what it alleges is the UN's inherent anti-Israel bias.
The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, a conservative-leaning Israeli research group, said the Unesco designation ran contrary to the Palestinian commitments in the Oslo peace accords of the 1990s for the joint governance of Hebron and shared worship in the Cave of the Patriarchs.
- 2009-2013: UNESCO adopted 46 (!) resolutions against Israel, compared to only 1 (!) against any other country (Syria).
"Israel won't renew cooperation with UNESCO as long as it continues to serve as a tool for political attacks instead of a being a professional organization".
The Jewish people's glorious history in Israel started in Hebron. Yitzhak Reiter of the independent Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research said UNESCO's decision would allow the Palestinians to "score points" in negotiations over the future of West Bank territory, since they could claim that UNESCO has sided with them. The Old City, and the tomb, are located in the Israeli sector.
The double cave, a mystery of thousands of years, was uncovered several years ago beneath the massive building, revealing artifacts from the Early Israelite Period (some 30 centuries ago). It is the palestinian's latest attempt to erase Jewish history.
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