UNESCO decided on Friday to recognize Hebron’s Old City and the Tomb of the Patriarchs as Palestinian heritage sites.
Despite intensive diplomatic efforts waged in recent weeks, Israel and the U.S. failed to recruit the support of enough member states to vote down the move.
Twelve states on the World Heritage Committee voted in favor of the resolution, and three voted against it.
The resolution that was proposed by the Palestinians includes two main clauses.
The first asserts that Hebron’s Old City and the Tomb of the Patriarchs are Palestinian heritage sites, and will be registered as such in UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
The second asserts that the two sites are to be recognized as being in danger, meaning that each year UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee will convene to discuss their case.
A weeke ago, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley sent a letter to two senior UN officials, asking them to oppose the Palestinian effort. Haley’s letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova came on top of diplomatic protests lodged by U.S. embassies in recent weeks with all 21 countries on the World Heritage Committee.