UNESCO puts city of Hebron on its heritage in danger list

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(FILES) This file photo taken on September 02, 2009 shows a Palestinian man reading the Qur'an, Islam’s holy book, as he sits in front of his shop in the old city of Hebron, in the West Bank. From the modernist city of Asmara to the Palaeolithic caves in Germany, 34 sites around the world, sometimes sensitive, such as Hebron, hope to integrate the Unesco World Heritage List, whose Ad Hoc Committee meets from 2 to 12 July in Cracow (Poland). The old town of Hebron is in the list. (AFP)
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(FILES) This file photo taken on May 08, 2017 shows a Palestinian man sitting in the old city of the West Bank city of Hebron. From the modernist city of Asmara to the Palaeolithic caves in Germany, 34 sites around the world, sometimes sensitive, such as Hebron, hope to integrate the Unesco World Heritage List, whose Ad Hoc Committee meets from 2 to 12 July in Cracow (Poland). The old town of Hebron is in the list. (AFP)
Updated 07 July 2017
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UNESCO puts city of Hebron on its heritage in danger list

WARSAW: UNESCO on Friday declared the Old City of Hebron an endangered world heritage site, sparking outrage from Israel in a new spat at the international body.
Meeting in Poland, the UN’s cultural arm voted 12 to three — with six abstentions — to give heritage status to Hebron’s Old City in the occupied West Bank, which is home to more than 200,000 Palestinians and a few hundred Israeli settlers.
“Just inscribed on @UNESCO #WorldHeritage List & World Heritage in Danger List: Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town,” the organization said on its official Twitter feed.
Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon immediately denounced the decision as “a moral blot,” saying it denied Jewish history in the city.
“This irrelevant organization promotes FAKE HISTORY. Shame on @UNESCO,” he wrote on Twitter after the decision taken in a secret ballot by the World Heritage Committee as it met in Krakow.
Brought by the Palestinians, the resolution declared Hebron’s Old City, including areas where settlers live, to be an area of outstanding universal value.
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 Palestinian foreign ministry called the decision made by UNESCO despite US and Israeli opposition a “success” for Palestinian diplomacy
Hebron claims to be one of the oldest cities in the world, dating from the Chalcolithic period or more than 3,000 years BC, the UNESCO resolution said.
At various times it has been conquered by Romans, Jews, Crusaders and Mamluks.
The city is home to the imposing Tomb of the Patriarchs, the resting place of key Biblical figures Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and one of the most important religious sites to Muslims and Jews alike.
Hebron is also a stark example of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The few hundred Israelis live closed off in several small settlements most of the world considers illegal, with Palestinians largely banned from entering and using nearby streets.
Israel seized the West Bank in the 1967 war in a move considered illegal by the United Nations.
The Israelis living in Hebron are protected by hundreds of Israeli soldiers, with Palestinians saying the settlements makes their lives impossible.


Syrian activists say 10 killed in Idlib bombings

Updated 32 min 15 sec ago
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Syrian activists say 10 killed in Idlib bombings

  • The Syrian Observatory said the blasts in the Qusour neighborhood during killed 13 people and wounded 25

BEIRUT: Syrian opposition activists and paramedics say two bomb blasts have struck the northwestern city of Idlib, killing at least 10 people.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the blasts in the Qusour neighborhood during rush hour Monday killed 13 people and wounded 25.
The Edlib Media Center, an activist collective, said the bombings killed 10 and wounded dozens.
The first blast occurred in the early afternoon and another followed seconds later. The opposition’s Syrian Civil Defense, a group of volunteer first responders, said one of its members was wounded.
The city of Idlib is controlled by Al-Qaeda-linked Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham, which has wide influence in northern Syria.
The city has been hit with bombings in recent months that killed or wounded scores of people.