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Inscribing Hebron as World Heritage under Threat is a Victory for Tolerance and Diversity

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The State of Palestine
Press Release
Inscribing Hebron as World Heritage under Threat is a Victory for Tolerance and Diversity 
Today, 7 July 2017, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee upheld its primary responsibility to recognize world heritage sites, preserve them and protect them from dangers threatening the loss of a piece of history invaluable to human heritage. Today, the absolute majority of members made the only logical and correct decision; recognizing that the Old City of Hebron is part of World Heritage under threat. Today, Palestine and the world, through UNESCO, celebrate Hebron as part of world heritage, a value that transcends geography, religion, politics, and ideology.  
This vote celebrated facts and rejected the shameless high-profile political bullying and attempts at extortion. Hebron is a city in the heart of the State of Palestine that hosts a site invaluable to world heritage and holy to billions of people around the world of the three monotheistic religions. Hebron’s Old City and holy site is under threat due to the irresponsible, illegal, and highly damaging actions of Israel, the occupying Power, which maintains a regime of separation and discrimination in the city based on ethnic background and religion. 
Inscribing Hebron as World Heritage under threat rejects the exclusionary ideology that fought this inscription based on prejudice and the rejection of others. On behalf of the people and government of Palestine, the Ministry of Foreign affairs extends its gratitude to the members who supported this important decision. Their support promotes tolerance, preserving world heritage, and rejects the toxic tirades of exclusivity and exclusion.   
Palestine is proud of its rich and diverse history. We embrace and celebrate this diversity because we are a product of it and our continued contributions to humanity draw on this mosaic of cultures, religions, and civilization. This adds to the strength of our deep roots in our homeland; it does not detract from them. The State of Palestine will continue to defend and celebrate Palestine’s many important historic sites as part of world heritage and resist any attempt to hold Palestine or its history hostage to the agenda and actions of intolerance and exclusion.
World Heritage? 41 COM
Item of the Agenda
Amended Draft Decision
41 COM8B.1
Amendment submitted 
bythe Delegation of….
The World Heritage Committee,
1. Having examined Documents WHC/17/41.COM/8B.Add.2 and WHC/17/41.COM/INF.8B1.Add.2,
2. Taking note that on 30 January 2017 the World Heritage Centre received a request by the Permanent Delegation of Palestine to process the nomination of Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town for inscription on the World Heritage List in compliance with the standard procedure and that by letter dated 9 March 2017 the Permanent Delegation of Palestine requested to process this nomination on an emergency basis,
3. Taking also note of the provisions under Paragraph 161 of the Operational Guidelines concerning nominations to be processed on an emergency basis, which are to “constitute an emergency situation for which an immediate decision by the Committee is necessary to ensure their safeguarding” and to “unquestionably justify Outstanding Universal Value”,
4. Acknowledging that in its evaluation report of the nomination, ICOMOS states that “ the necessary permissions were not forthcoming for travel and access to the Hebron H2 zone, which is under Israel military control, and within which lies the nominated property “ and that “in view of the lack of a Field Visit, ICOMOS has not been able to fully evaluate whether the property unquestionably justifies some criteria, conditions of authenticity and integrity and management requirements nor whether recent incidents have drastically increased the level of threats to a degree that the situation may be considered an emergency for which an immediate action by the World Heritage Committee is needed”,
5. Regrets that Israel, the Occupying Power, did not give the necessary permissions for ICOMOS to undertake a Field Visit to the site in order to evaluate the OUV, the conditions of integrity and authenticity and management requirements of the property,
6. Considers that the nominated property unquestionably justifies criteria (II), (iv) and (vi) as well as
conditions of integrity and authenticity,
7. Also Considers that the property is faced with serious threats which could have deleterious effects on its inherent characteristics and for which an immediate action by the World Heritage Committee is needed,
8. Inscribes  Hebron / Al Khalil Old town on the World Heritage List on the basis of criteria (ii), (iv) and (vi);
9.  Also Inscribes Hebron / Al Khalil Old town on the World Heritage List in Danger
7 July 2017