'Delusional': Israel rages after UNESCO describes Hebron as Palestinian heritage site

Israeli soldiers check the ID of a Palestinian woman in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of Hebron West Bank

But three countries - Poland, Croatia and Jamaica - requested a secret ballot, much to the objection of other countries.

In September, Israel suspended cooperation with UNESCO after it adopted a resolution that Israel says denies the deep historic Jewish connection to holy sites in Jerusalem.

Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said on Tuesday in parliament that Mark Rutte had complained to Netanyahu about the move last week, shortly after the solar panels, which cost approximately $600,000, were dismantled by Israeli authorities at the West Bank village Jubbet adh Dhib.

The funding cut is Israel's fourth in the past year, taking its United Nations contribution from $11 million to just $1.7 million, an Israeli official said.

Hebron is the largest Palestinian city in the occupied West Bank with a population of some 200,000.

Palestinian security sources said the 37-year-old victim, identified as Omar Ahmad Issa, was struck in the town of al-Khader, located 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) west of Bethlehem, at around 4 a.m. local time (0100 GMT) on Friday, while riding his motorcycle near a checkpoint leading to the occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds.

"It's disappointing and embarrassing to see UNESCO denying history and distorting reality time after time to knowingly serve those who try to wipe the Jewish state off the map", said Naftali Bennet, Israel's education minister and chairman of the Israeli UNESCO committee, according to Israeli news site Haaretz.

"Meanwhile, the Palestinians praised the move, with the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs calling it "the only logical and correct decision", and adding that "... The decision was celebrated by Palestinians and campaigners who saw it as a stepping stone on the path to giving the Territories full statehood. Each cut has come after various United Nations bodies voted to adopt decisions which Israel said discriminated against it. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah are all later buried in the same Cave of Machpelah. Since then, Jews have been struggling to regain their prayer rights at the site, still run by the Muslim Waqf (Religious Trust) that took control during the Arab conquest. A thousand years later, during the first Jewish revolt against the Romans, the city was the scene of extensive fighting in which many Jews were killed. "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".

The resolution put Hebron's old city on the UNESCO's list of protected zones, declaring it an area of outstanding universal value.



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