Hebron, World Heritage Site

From the very beginning of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, successive Zionist government have been working to change the geographic and demographic status of the Palestinian cities with the aim of wiping out their genuine Arab characteristics and obliterating their Arab Islamic heritage. The sinister Israeli policy has been based on confiscating Palestinian lands and constructing settlement blocks to absorb thousands of Jewish settlers coming from various states around the world with the aim of perpetuating the Israeli occupation of the Arab territories..

The UNESCO has approved a Palestine-proposed resolution, declaring the Old City of al-Khalil (Hebron) a protected heritage site in a secret ballot despite Israeli attempts to thwart the vote.

 The UN’s cultural arm voted 12 to three, with six abstentions, to give heritage status to al-Khalil Hebron in the occupied West Bank, which is home to more than 200,000 Palestinians and a few hundred Israeli settlers.

The measure was an affirmation of Palestinian full rights in Hebron and all Palestinian lands. Despite a frantic Israeli campaign spreading lies and distorting the facts about the Palestinian rights, the world has recognized Palestinian right to register Hebron and the Ibrahimi Mosque under Palestinian sovereignty.

The Old City of al-Khalil is home to the Ibrahimi Mosque, one of the key holy sites in the Muslim world.Ibrahimi Mosque is a “pure Muslim” site .

With the latest vote, the Old City of al-Khalil becomes the third site registered under “Palestine” since the UNESCO recognized it as a member state in 2011.

The UNESCO World Heritage committee put the occupied West Bank city of Hebron’s Old Town on its list of world heritage in danger. The decision was taken in Krakow, Poland, on a proposal from the Palestinian side.

The decision draws attention to the situation in Hebron. It also obliges the World Heritage committee to review its situation every year. By the same decision, Hebron’s Old Town was also put on UNESCO World Heritage list.

It was a historical development because it stressed that Hebron  and its historic mosque “historically belong to the Palestinian people.”

Hebron’s Old City in the occupied West Bank is home to more than 200,000 Palestinians and a few hundred Israeli colonists. The resolution was fast-tracked on the basis that the site was under threat, with the Palestinians accusing Israel of an “alarming” number of violations, including vandalism and damage to properties.

The vote irked the regime in Tel Aviv, which had reportedly been involved in a campaign to thwart the UNESCO vote.Israel claimed that the decision’s wording ignored its historic links to the city. The Israeli ambassador to UNESCO left the session.

 Emmanuel Nahshon, a spokesman for the Israeli ministry for foreign affairs, called the decision by the “irrelevant organization” as a “moral blot.”

Naftali Bennett, Israel’s Education Minister, claimed in a statement that “Jewish ties to Hebron are stronger than the disgraceful UNESCO vote.”

Hebron is one of the oldest cities in the world, dating from the Chalcolithic period or more than 3,000 years BC.The city is home to the imposing Ebrahim mosque, the resting place of key Biblical figures Ebrahim, Ishaq and Yaqoub and one of the most important religious sites to Muslims.

The few hundred Israelis live closed off in several small colonies most of the world considers illegal, with Palestinians largely banned from entering and using nearby streets.