UNESCO has recognized ruins near the ancient city of Jericho as a Palestinian World Heritage Site, drawing criticism from Israel. At a meeting held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the United Nations cultural organization voted to add the site of Tell al-Sultan to the corresponding list of World Heritage Sites.
The State of Israel has no longer been a member of UNESCO since 2019 because it sees the organization as biased against Israel, but according to media reports, it was present in Riyadh as an observer.
An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman said that Israel considers the decision “another sign of the Palestinians’ cynical use of UNESCO and the politicization of the organization.” With the help of friendly countries, Israel will work to “change all wrong decisions.”
Abbas: The decision is “very important”
The archaeological ruin is located near Jericho in the southern West Bank, which Israel occupied along with other areas in 1967. Palestinians claim it is part of the independent state of Palestine, with its capital in the Arab-dominated eastern part of Jerusalem. However, Israel rejects this; Many members of the country’s right-wing religious camp demand the West Bank as part of the Jewish state.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas welcomed UNESCO’s decision on Sunday, describing it as “very important.” It bears witness to “the authenticity and history of the Palestinian people.” He stressed that “the State of Palestine is committed to preserving this unique site for the benefit of humanity.”