UNESCO puts Hebron on endangered heritage list, outraging Israel
UNESCO today declared the Old City of Hebron an endangered world heritage site, sparking outrage from Israel in a new spat with the Palestinians at the international body.
The UN's cultural arm voted 12 to three — with six abstentions — to give heritage status to Hebron's Old City in the occupied West Bank, which is home to more than 200,000 Palestinians and a few hundred Israeli settlers.
"Just inscribed on @UNESCO #WorldHeritage List & World Heritage in Danger List: Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town," the organisation said on its official Twitter feed.
The vote drew a sharp denunciation from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who described it as "another delusional decision by UNESCO."
"This time they ruled the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron is a Palestinian site, meaning not a Jewish site, and that it is in danger," he said incredulously, speaking in Hebrew in a video posted online.
And foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon slammed the decision as "a moral blot" which denied Jewish history in the ancient city.
"This irrelevant organisation promotes FAKE HISTORY. Shame on @UNESCO," he wrote on Twitter after the decision taken in a secret ballot by the World Heritage Committee meeting in Krakow.