UNESCO declares Old City of Hebron a Palestinian world heritage site

Hebron is one of the oldest cities in the world, dating back more than 3,000 years BC.

A picture taken on June 29, 2017 shows a view of the Cave of the Patriarchs, also known as the Ibrahimi Mosque, which is a holy shrine for Jews and Muslims, in the heart of the divided city of Hebron in the southern West Bank. On July 7, 2017 UNESCO declared in a secret ballot the Old City of Hebron in the occupied West Bank a protected heritage site.
Hebron is home to more than 200,000 Palestinians, and a few hundred Israeli settlers who live in a heavily fortified enclave near the site known to Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque and to Jews as the Cave of the Patriarchs. Picture: AFP.

JERUSALEM - UNESCO has granted a Palestinian request to declare the Old City of Hebron in Israel, a Palestinian world heritage site.

The move has been met with applause by Palestinians, and condemnation from Israel.

Palestinians say the decision is a success for Palestinian diplomacy and that they applauded the decision by the world to recognise their right to register Hebron under Palestinian sovereignty

Hebron is one of the oldest cities in the world, dating back more than 3,000 years BC.

It is home to the tombs of Biblical figures like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and is one of the most important religious sites to Muslims and Jews alike.

Israel's efforts to foil the resolution failed after 12 member states voted in favor of the resolution, three voted against it, and six abstained.

Hebron's Old City has also been put on UNESCO's list of world heritage sites in danger. 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.

Israel says the decision is disgraceful.