UNESCO is set to vote on adding Hebron’s Old City to the list of World Heritage sites during its meeting in Poland on Friday, Palestinian Authority (PA) sources told Quds Press.
Director of the project to add the Old City, including the Ibrahimi Mosque to the UNESCO list, Alaa Shaheen, said the PA had met all the demands of the 21-member World Heritage Committee.
Speaking to Quds Press, he added that Israel has been trying to undermine the vote, noting that the Israeli occupation authorities have been “preventing the PA from taking care of the Palestinian heritage sites in the Old City and prevents tourists from accessing them.”
This is a political issue. Israeli and American pressure is of importance in such a proposed vote.
During an UNESCO event about empowering woman held in Paris on Sunday, the former Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni described this proposal as “provocative” and called for UNSECO not to schedule it for a vote.
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley sent a letter to the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Pokova, urging her to oppose the proposal. She sent similar letters to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
According to Israeli news sites, Haley said: “I hope you will join the United States in opposing this measure” which she called “ill-timed and unfortunate”.
“Such a designation risks undermining the seriousness such an assessment by UNESCO should have.”