'US reviewing ties with UNESCO over al-Khalil decision'

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'US reviewing ties with UNESCO over al-Khalil decision'

By the 20th century, access had been restricted to Muslims only, until Israel captured the city during the Six Day War in 1967.

UNESCO has designated the West Bank city of Hebron as an endangered Palestinian heritage site, drawing the ire of Israel, which branded the move "shameful" and renewed calls for President Donald Trump to withdraw US membership of the United Nations body. This irrelevant organization promotes fake history.

The ICOMOS assessment on Hebron, published on Sunday, criticized the Palestinian proposal for ignoring Jewish and Christian heritage in the city, "even though extensive remains testify to these links".

It's a crying shame that Israel made no mention of the alarming number of violations that have taken place in this city where Arab homes have been vandalised and properties damaged by settlers.

Palestinian Foreign Minister, Reyad Al-Maliki, said the UNESCO vote, at a meeting in Krakow, Poland, was proof of the "successful diplomatic battle Palestine has launched on all fronts in the face of Israeli and American pressure on (UNESCO) member countries".

AL Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit saluted the Arab group for its efforts to win the vote by the UNESCO's World Heritage Committee, Gheit's spokesman Mahmoud Afify was quoted by Egypt's official news agency MENA as saying.

Both Jews and Muslims revere the same site in Hebron as the traditional burial place of the biblical patriarchs and matriarchs, but Muslims call it the Ibrahimi Mosque.

Palestinians successfully argued Israel's settlement activity in Hebron, particularly by its military, threatened the city's cultural status.

The few hundred Israelis live closed off in several small, interconnected settlements that most of the world consider as illegal, with Palestinians largely banned from entering and using nearby streets.

Israel announced in May that it would withhold $1 million in its funding for the United Nations following the passage by UNESCO of a resolution that condemned the country's sovereignty in Jerusalem.

Ending his fiery speech to the committee immediately after the vote, Shama-HaCohen said he had to take a call from his "plumber", the Times of Israel reported.

The Ibrahimi Mosque, known to Jews as the Tomb of the Patriarchs, is holy to both faiths and has always been a flashpoint of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The compound is the holiest site in Judaism and the third-holiest in Islam, after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.

Israeli Government Minister Naftali Bennett, leader of the right wing Jewish Home Party, called it a "disgraceful vote".

Hebron has a long history of violence.

"Today's vote does no one any good and causes much harm", US Ambassador Nikki Haley said in a statement after the vote.

"We are calling on the global community and the Trump administration t0 pull out of UNESCO completely".

ICOMOS, explaining its recommendation to list the site as "in danger", cited reports from the Palestinian Authority that Israel was preventing restoration to some of the Old Cit's ancient structures and that it had unilaterally altered the Cave compound. Not a Jewish site?!

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