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UNESCO Recognizes Hebron Sites as Part of Palestine

UNESCO Recognizes Hebron Sites as Part of Palestine

"This time they determined that the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron is a Palestinian site, i.e. not Jewish, and that the site is in danger".

The United Nations declared the Old City of Hebron a heritage site on Friday, sparking Israeli fury and Palestinian jubiliation.

UNESCO spokeswoman Lucia Iglesias confirmed that on a Palestine motion, Hebron's Old Town was put on the agency's World Heritage list and on the list of heritage in danger. Ten countries voted for the resolution with three opposed and eight abstaining. The decision was celebrated by Palestinians and campaigners who saw it as a stepping stone on the path to giving the Territories full statehood. Several states objected, leading to a shouting match between delegates, and Israeli Ambassador Carmel Shama-Hacohen storming to the desk of the session's chairman to make Israel's case.

The city is divided, in accordance with worldwide agreements, between Palestinian and Israeli control. It's a political decision and thus contra UNESCO mandate.

The Tomb of the Patriarchs, revered as the Biblical burial place of the Jewish patriarchs and matriarchs, is Judaism's second holiest site. In a statement, Netanyahu said he would cut another $1 million from the membership money Israel sends to the United Nations and use it to establish a "Museum of the Heritage of the Jewish People in Hebron and Kiryat Arba and Hebron" and for other heritage projects related to Hebron. "Who is buried there?"

Initial reports indicate that the Palestinian, identified as Omar Ahmad Issa, 37, was riding a motorcycle when he was struck by the Israeli auto in what appears to be a traffic accident.

King David was anointed in Hebron, where he reigned for seven years.

Meanwhile, the site was endangered - when the Muslims controlled it. Palestinian gunmen killed six settlers on their way home from prayers in 1980, and three years later, members of the Jewish Underground gunned down students at the Islamic College in Hebron, killing three.

Israel occupied the West Bank - including East Jerusalem - during the 1967 Middle East War.

It is one of the most important religious sites to Muslims and Jews alike.

On Thursday, during a trip organized by Media Central, Jabari told journalists that he did not recognize Jewish ties to the site nor believe that Jews themselves felt a connection to the structure.

UNESCO has been at the forefront of this Cultural Jihad.

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.

Hebron has witnessed much Jewish-Arab strife and bloodshed. It was a blood frenzy in which the Jews were set upon with particular glee and slaughtered with knives, machetes and anything else available.

There is frequent friction between the two populations. Many of the Palestinians involved in the current wave of attacks that began in 2005 came from Hebron.

At the end of a week of violence, 133 Jews were dead, and 110 Arabs had been killed, almost all of the latter by British security forces.

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