Drop Charges against Palestinian Hebron Activist — UN to Israel

Israel Has No Sovereignty over Jerusalem: UNESCO

UNESCO declares West Bank city of Hebron as World Heritage Site in Danger

Israel's Prime Minister called the decision "delusional" while Lieberman stated he hopes the USA will stop funding the body.

The property includes a holy site, known to Jews as the Tomb of the Patriarchs and to Muslims as the Ibrahimi mosque. Six countries abstained from the controversial vote which, at the request of Poland, Croatia, and Jamaica, was a secret ballot; a first for such a vote.

Israel seized the West Bank in the 1967 war in a move considered illegal by the United Nations.

That text stated that the Palestinian Authority application did meet the criteria for both the World Heritage List and as an endangered site.

Rula Maayah, Palestinian minister of tourism, called it a "historical development because it stressed that Hebron" and its mosque "historically belong to the Palestinian people".

Bennett, leader of the nationalist Jewish Home party, also heads Israel's national Unesco committee. Not a Jewish site?!

Netanyahu continued, asking "Who is buried there?"

Khaled Qawasmi, an elected member of the Hebron City Council, said he hoped that the Hebron Municipality and the committee to rebuild Hebron would "take good care of this heritage and act in a unified way to ensure its preservation for future generations".

The experts also raised concerns about the Israeli military court system - which all Palestinians in the West Bank are subject to - meeting many worldwide standards of due process required under global human rights and humanitarian law. The global community considers it to be occupied.

Israel says the territory's fate, along with other core issues like security, should be resolved in negotiations. The Palestinians — and most of the world — consider these to be illegal obstacles to peace.

Hebron is especially contentious.

Palestinians have long lived under harsh restrictions in the city, which is one of the starkest symbols of the Israeli occupation. There is frequent friction between the two populations. Each cut has come after various United Nations bodies voted to adopt decisions which Israel said discriminated against it.

In May, the Jewish state reacted furiously after UNESCO passed a separate resolution on Jerusalem, and has recently prevented UNESCO researchers from visiting Hebron.

The Arab envoy to UNESCO - who was not identified in media reports - apologized to his Israeli counterpart Carmel Shama-Hacohen for not being able to vote against the resolution.

"This attempt to sever the ties between Israel and Hebron is shameful and offensive, and eliminates UNESCO's last remaining shred of credibility", he said, according to the Times of Israel.

The Palestinians hailed the vote as a diplomatic victory.

Israel tries to use Jewish reverence the Ibrahimi mosque in Hebron as a pretext to claim sovereignty over the occupied West Bank city.

Jews have claimed Hebron's Cave of the Patriarchs as the burial site for Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah.

The Ibrahimi Mosque has always been a flashpoint of Zionist colonial violence.

Arabs massacred 69 Jews there in 1929.

Issa Amro, an advocate of non-violent resistance, co-founded the grassroots group Youth Against Settlements, which has relentlessly campaigned against the Israeli military's shutdown of the once-thriving and historic Palestinian neighbourhood around Shuhada Street.

Many of the Palestinians involved in the current wave of attacks that began in 2005 came from Hebron. In that period, 251 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire.

This year, the resolutions have been toned down and more neutral language was restored, but they still make reference to the previous texts.

From a political perspective, the Unesco listing is bound to help the Palestinians as it will elicit greater interest and support from the global community.

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