UNESCO puts city of Hebron on its heritage in danger list
UNESCO on 07th, July declared the Old City of Hebron an endangered world heritage site, sparking outrage from Israel in a new spat at the international body.
The decision was taken in Krakow, Poland, on a proposal from the Palestinian side that has drawn angry reaction from Israel, whose ambassador left the session.
- The 12-3 vote, with six abstentions, came on a secret ballot at an annual UNESCO World Heritage Committee meeting in Krakow, Poland. The proposal came from the Palestinian side. Israel contended that its historic links to Hebron were ignored
- UNESCO spokeswoman Lucia Iglesias confirmed that Hebron’s old city was put on the agency’s World Heritage list and on the list of sites in danger.
- Hebron is part of the West Bank, a territory captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war.
- It is a Palestinian city located in the southern West Bank, 30 km (19 mi) south of Jerusalem. Nestled in the Judaean Mountains, it lies 930 meters (3,050 ft) above sea level.
- It is the largest city in theWest Bank, and the second largest in the Palestinian territories after Gaza, and home to 215,452 Palestinians (2016), and between 500 and 850 Jewish settlers concentrated in and around the old quarter.
- The city is divided into two sectors: H1, controlled by the Palestinian Authority and H2, roughly 20% of the city, administered by Israel.
- All security arrangements and travel permits for local residents are coordinated between the Palestinian Authority and Israel viamilitary administration of the West Bank (COGAT).
The World Heritage Convention
- It is an international convention adopted by UNESCO aimed at conserving the world’s most outstanding heritage sites. The convention covers 190 countries that voluntarily participate in it. Identifying potential world heritage places is the responsibility of each participating country.
- The World Heritage Committee – a 21-member body established by the convention but with membership elected by the member states – decides which sites make the list (there are currently 1,007). Countries have to protect, conserve, communicate the value of, rehabilitate and transmit the sites to future generations.