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Drop charges against Palestinian Hebron activist — United Nations experts

09 Juillet 2017

The vote took place by secret ballot at the UNESCO World Heritage Committee's 41st annual summit, which is now taking place in Krakow, Poland.

Three countries voted against the motion and six others abstained from voting on the resolution which was put forward by Jordan and contained two main clauses.

United Nations Educational, and Scientific Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared the Tomb of the Patriarchs, the ancient burial place of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as Palestinian territory.

Nikki Haley, the USA ambassador to the United Nations, said the vote "does no one any good and causes much harm". "Israel won't renew cooperation with UNESCO as long as it continues to serve as a tool for political attacks instead of being a professional organization".

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

Judaism, Christianity and Islam hold the Cave of the Patriarchs to be sacred, as it is believed to be home to the bones of the biblical figure Abraham and members of his family, according to the Book of Genesis.

"The @UNESCO decision on Hebron & Tomb of Patriarchs is a moral blot".

Mr. Amro, founder of the Hebron-based Youth Against Settlements, is facing trial in an Israeli military court on a number of charges, some of which date back a number of years and have only recently been reactivated.

Hebron is the largest Palestinian city in the occupied West Bank with a population of some 200,000.

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Generally, votes to inscribe sites onto UNESCO's World Heritage List are usually done by a show of hands among all the member states.

The resolution notably does not describe Hebron as in Palestine, although it notes that the "permanent delegation of Palestine" submitted the request.

USA decision to review its ties with UNESCO comes as Washington already has other issues with the United Nations.

The Palestinian foreign ministry hailed Friday's decision a "success" for its diplomatic efforts that came "despite a frantic Israeli campaign spreading lies and distorting the facts about the Palestinian rights".

The office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement it would be reducing Israel's funding to the United Nations by one million dollars so that it could build a museum in the town.

"They want to make sure that there will be an worldwide forum to monitor the situation in Hebron and the Cave of the Patriarchs that will prevent Israel from future transgressions or overstepping its current presence in the city", Reiter said. As Palestinians gathered to pray, Goldstein opened fire inside the compound, killing 29 people including children.

UNESCO, the U.N.'s cultural committee, designated the city as a heritage site in danger.

"They have taken one of the foundational landmarks of Jewish history and have appropriated it as their own", he adds.

Drop charges against Palestinian Hebron activist — United Nations experts