UNESCO May Include Hebron’s Old City on Its World Heritage List

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UNESCO May Include Hebron’s Old City on Its World Heritage List

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)

Hebron bears testimony to Israeli separation, forced displacement, state terror, and overall viciousness toward Palestinians.

It destroyed the city’s fabric through land seizures, extended curfews, harsh restrictions on free movement and unaddressed violence.

Palestinians are terrorized and prohibited from driving or even walking on the area’s main streets. Thousands of residents and merchants were removed or forced to leave for exclusive Jewish development.

Hebron is the West Bank’s second largest city, the only Palestinian one with an Israeli settlement in its center. It’s concentrated in and around the Old City that once was the entire southern West Bank’s commercial center. No longer.

Israel partitioned the city into northern and southern areas. It created areas for Jewish vehicles only. Where Palestinians are permitted, they face harassment, humiliating inspections, arrests and detentions at Israel’s discretion.

Palestinians lost their homes, land, businesses and freedom – a permanent process of dispossessing Arabs to make way for exclusive Jewish use.

On Friday, UNESCO will vote on whether to designate Hebron’s Old City a World Heritage site. A Jordanian-sponsored resolution on the Old City of Jerusalem and its walls is softer than last year’s text.

It still calls Israel “the occupying power.” It affirms previous UN resolutions deny its claim to East Jerusalem.

It “regrets the failure of the Israeli occupying authorities to cease the persistent excavations, tunneling, works, projects and other illegal practices in East Jerusalem, particularly in and around the Old City of Jerusalem, which are illegal under international law.”

It stresses the importance of the Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls for the three monotheistic religions.” UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee chairperson may try to adopt the resolution by consensus.

Countries on this year’s committee include Angola, Azerbaijan, Burkina Faso, Croatia, Cuba, Finland, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, South Korea, Tunisia, Turkey, Tanzania, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.

Israel refused to give UNESCO investigators visas to visit Hebron’s Old City. Inclusion of it on its World Heritage List would heighten scrutiny on its ruthless activities in the area, including cold-blooded murder of Palestinians.

Neocon US UN envoy Nikki Haley is going all-out to try preventing inclusion of Hebron’s Old city on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The PA’s Foreign Ministry responded, calling her “racist and anti-Palestinian,” adding it’s not the first instance of her “malice and hatred.”

The statement denounced what it called “the crude intervention of the US ambassador in the work of UNESCO and the attempt to influence the independence of the UN organization by pressing the member countries of the World Heritage Committee to vote against the Palestinian request to put Hebron on the World Heritage List.”

Washington and Israel reject treating Palestinians with dignity and fairness – why peace talks when initiated are dead-on-arrival each time initiated.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.