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Israel says UNESCO Hebron vote "shameful"

Unesco names Hebron a world heritage site triggers outrage from Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the motion earlier Friday by calling the measure "another delusional UNESCO decision" and ordered that another $1 million be pulled from Israel's United Nations funding to establish a museum showcasing Jewish heritage in Hebron.

In September, Israel suspended cooperation with UNESCO after it adopted a resolution that Israel says denies the deep historic Jewish connection to holy sites in Jerusalem. No UNESCO lies and FAKE HISTORY can change that.

Unesco has designated Hebron's Old City and the Tomb of the Patriarchs in the occupied West Bank a Palestinian World Heritage site despite Israeli protests.

Both the United States and Israel protested vigorously against the motion.

Brought by the Palestinians, the resolution declared Hebron's Old City to be an area of outstanding universal value.

UNESCO has voted to recognise Hebron's Old City and the Ibrahimi Mosque as Palestinian heritage sites despite diplomatic pressures by the USA and Israel to recruit the support of enough member states to vote against the move.

On Tuesday, the heritage committee of UNESCO passed a resolution submitted by the council's Arab states rejecting Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem.

At various times it has been conquered by Romans, Jews, Crusaders and Mamluks. Since then, Jews have been struggling to regain their prayer rights at the site, still run by the Muslim Waqf (Religious Trust) that took control during the Arab conquest.

It had also warned that the resolution might undermine efforts by US President Donald Trump to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. She would not elaborate, saying the exact wording would be decided later.

Twelve states on the World Heritage Committee voted in favor of the resolution, and three voted against it.

Shama-Hacohen accused the session's chairman of not conducting a truly secret ballot, as the chairman ordered the delegates to come up to the front of the hall and put a sealed envelope into a box in front of the other diplomats.

Israel seized the West Bank including Hebron in 1967 in a move never recognised by the worldwide community.

Israel has long viewed many United Nations bodies as hopelessly biased against it.

- 2014: UNESCO abruptly cancels an exhibit on its grounds titled "The 3,500 Year Relationship of the Jewish People and the Land of Israel" which was sponsored together with the Simon Wiesenthal Center. It also allows for the allocation of immediate World Heritage Fund assistance to the property.

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.