The World Heritage Committee in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) on Monday approved a resolution to place the old city of Jerusalem on the “List of World Heritage in Danger”.
Out of the 21 member-states that attended the session, held in Doha, 12 countries voted for and eight voted against the measure. One country voted neither for nor against. The votes of the different countries were not disclosed.
According to the resolution, the old city of Jerusalem and its walls, including Al-Magharbeh Gate, are under continuous danger as a result of Israeli policies.
Omar Awadallah, an official in the Palestinian foreign ministry, said that UNESCO originally included the old city of Jerusalem in the list of World Heritage Sites in 1982 after an application filed by Jordan, which is the guardian of the city of Jerusalem.
Speaking to the Turkish news agency Anadolu, Awadallah said that this vote is renewed every year, but Israel has so far refused to abide by the UNESCO resolutions.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki praised the resolution stressing the need for joint action to protect the holy city from Israeli oppression.
Al-Maliki stressed the importance of paying attention to the city of Jerusalem, on both Arab and international levels, for its historical significance and heritage, and what it faces in daily violations against its people and stones.
The old city and its walls are part of Eastern Jerusalem, which remained under Jordanian sovereignty after Israel first occupied Western Jerusalem and areas of Palestine in 1948. It remained so until 1967, when Israel completed the occupation of the entire city and all of Palestine, as well as the Golan Heights and the Sinai.
Ottoman Sultan Suleiman built the wall of the city, which includes Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of Sepulchre, between 1535 and 1538.