UNESCO names new sites to its World Heritage List – including one in the West Bank

The World Heritage Committee has named 37 new sites to UNESCO’s World Heritage List — including one in Israeli-occupied West Bank.

The newly inscribed properties have been introduced throughout the forty fifth session of the World Heritage Committee being held from Sept. 10 to 25 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Of the 50 “candidate sites” being thought of, these have made the checklist up to now:

A 4th — or fifth — web site?

Located 250 meters beneath sea ranges, Tell es-Sultan incorporates proof of spiritual funeral practices, which included “plastering and adorning skulls of the deceased,” in accordance to a nomination doc associated to its UNESCO inscription.

Dea / Archivio J. Lange | De Agostini | Getty Images

The West Bank web site — thought to be one of the oldest fortified cities in the world — dates to the ninth millennium B.C. and is marked by an oval-shaped inform, or mound, close to the fashionable metropolis of Jericho.

But Mounir Anastas, everlasting delegate of Palestine to UNESCO, said that Jericho marks the fifth web site in the territory named to the checklist, the most vital from a historic and non secular perspective being the Old City of Jerusalem, in accordance to an announcement on Sunday by the Saudi Press Agency.

The Old City of Jerusalem and its partitions have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1981, however UNESCO doesn’t list it under Israel or Palestine. Whereas different sites are listed by nation, UNESCO lists the web site individually, below “Jerusalem (Site proposed by Jordan).”

UNESCO doesn’t checklist Jerusalem below Palestine or Israel in its on-line listing.

Source: Screenshot from UNESCO

Israel, which joined UNESCO in 1949, has nine sites named to the list, including Masada, the Old City of Acre and the “White City” of Tel Aviv. 

A backdrop of political alliances

UNESCO’s resolution to add Tell es-Sultan/Jericho to its World Heritage Site has angered Israeli officials, with Israel’s international ministry releasing a press release Sunday calling it a “cynical” ploy by the Palestinians to politicize UNESCO.

Anastas credited “all Arabs, particularly the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which made each effort to host the session and spared no effort to assist the Palestinian trigger in all worldwide platforms,” in accordance to the Saudi Press Agency.

Saudi Arabia’s sympathetic view of the Palestinians has been formed by the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict. Saudi Arabia doesn’t acknowledge Israel as a state and has refused to accomplish that since the latter’s independence in 1948. Additionally, two of Islam’s holiest sites, Mecca and Medina, are additionally in Saudi Arabia, giving it a crucial role in the Muslim world when it comes to the challenge of Palestine’s statehood.

Two sites in Ukraine ‘in hazard’

On Friday, the World Heritage Committee inscribed two sites in Ukraine to its List of World Heritage in Danger:

  • The Saint Sophia Cathedral and Lavra of Kyiv-Pechersk (Kyiv Monastery of the Caves)
  • The historic heart of the metropolis of Lviv

The committee famous each have been below permanent threat since the start of the Russian invasion regardless of “the many actions taken by the Ukrainian authorities to shield their cultural property,” in accordance to UNESCO.

Kyiv’s Saint Sophia Cathedral is now on UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger.

Joern Pollex | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images

“Their inclusion on the List of World Heritage in Danger reminds the 195 States events to the Convention of their duty to monitor and contribute to the safety of those sites,” UNESCO said.

The two sites be a part of the historic center of the city of Odesa — named in January — to UNESCO’s “in hazard” checklist.

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