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UNESCO declares ancient Jericho ruins a World Heritage Site in Palestine

September 18, 2023 at 9:23 am

A view of the fireworks display organised to mark UNESCO’s inclusion of the ancient city of Jericho on the World Heritage List in Jericho, West Bank on September 17, 2023. [Issam Rimawi – Anadolu Agency]

The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Committee has inscribed the ancient Palestinian city of Jericho, also known as Tell Es-Sultan, on the World Heritage List.

Wafa news agency reported that the decision was taken during the 45th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee held in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

Including this historic site on the prestigious list means recognition of the immense cultural and historical significance of ancient Jericho, located in the occupied Jordan Valley region, east of the occupied West Bank, Wafa said.

Jericho is renowned as one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, with a history spanning thousands of years.

The ancient city boasts remarkable archaeological findings, including evidence of its ancient fortifications and early human settlements, as well as the iconic Hisham’s Palace mosaic.

Such archaeological treasures offer invaluable insights into the region’s history, culture and civilisation.

In a statement, Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said: “The UNESCO decision is an affirmation of Jericho’s rich, uninterrupted and long-lasting heritage as embodied by 10,000 years of human development.”

The statement added: “The decision reflects the international community’s endorsement of Palestine’s invaluable contribution to world history and human heritage and Palestinian right to self-determination over their cultural resources and rights.”

It concluded: “The State of Palestine reiterates its firm commitment to work with UNESCO to defend the Palestinian people’s right to preserve, protect, and develop cultural heritage against all dangers, pillages, and attacks, and calls on the international community to join in protecting Palestinian cultural heritage for generations to come.”

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