United Nations experts: Drop charges against Palestinian Hebron activist

The Western Wall in Jerusalem

The Western Wall in Jerusalem

Hebron, thought to be 6,000 years old and home for Al-Ibrahimi mosque, is considered by Muslims to be the fourth holiest site for almost 1,000 years.

Israeli officials, such as Michael Oren, deputy minister in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office, have called on the Trump administration to leave UNESCO completely, and members of the Jewish community in Hebron reiterated that demand of Israel's historic ally on Friday.

For the Palestinians the move is more than just a diplomatic and moral victory as it recognises the outstanding universal value of a city inhabited by more than 200,000 Palestinians and a few hundred odd Israeli settlers.

"It's disappointing and embarrassing to see UNESCO denying history and distorting reality time after time to knowingly serve those who try to wipe the Jewish state off the map", he said, according to local news site Haaretz.

AMMAN: A United Nations agency's designatation of Hebron's Old City in the occupied West Bank as a World Heritage site has been welcomed by Palestinians. She would not elaborate, saying the exact wording would be decided later.

"The UNESCO vote on Hebron is tragic on several levels", Haley stated, after UNESCO's World Heritage Committee passed the resolution by 12 votes to six, with three abstentions, during its annual meeting in the Polish city of Krakow.

Like with its earlier targeting of Israel this week over Jerusalem, the UNESCO committee has allowed its work to become tainted by politicization. Mr. Bennett, leader of the nationalist Jewish Home party, also heads Israel's UNESCO Committee.

The prime minister also announced that he would cut an additional $1 million from the funds Israel pays for its United Nations membership, and will instead allocate them to the establishment of a "Jewish Heritage Museum in Kiryat Arba and Hebron", along with other projects in the field. In fact, only the places in which Israel has a presence, like Hebron, there is freedom of religion for everyone.

"The Jewish connection to Hebron goes back thousands of years".

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.

Defense minister Avigdor Lieberman called the UNESCO vote "anti-Semitic". "The Israeli military court system - which all Palestinians in the West Bank are subject to - has a conviction rate above 99%, which raises serious concerns about the system meeting numerous worldwide standards of due process required by human rights and humanitarian law".

"The city of Hebron is an open archive of history, it's so important to protect these sites, which are under threat from the Israeli occupation", he said.

For most of the year, the holy site's prayer area is divided into separate halls for Jewish and Muslim worshipers, with separate entrances and each side administered by its own religious authority.

In 1929, Arabs killed 67 Jews in a rampage still seared into Israeli minds.

In 1994, an American Jew named Baruch Goldstein opened fire on Palestinians praying at the site, killing 29 before being beaten to death by survivors. "We decided not to go for violence, we made a decision to go only for political and diplomatic means", Majdi Khaldi, adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas tells Newsweek by phone.

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