GAZA -- UNESCO on Friday declared the Old City of Hebron an endangered world heritage site, sparking outrage from Israel, AFP reported on Friday.
Meeting in Poland, the World Heritage Committee voted 12 to three -- with six abstentions -- to give heritage status to Hebron's Old City in the occupied West Bank, which is home to more than 200,000 Palestinians and a few hundred Israeli settlers.
"Just inscribed on @UNESCO #WorldHeritage List & World Heritage in Danger List: Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town," the organisation announced on its official Twitter feed.
Brought by the Palestinians, the resolution declared Hebron's Old City, including areas where settlers live, to be an area of outstanding universal value.
The resolution was fast-tracked on the basis that the site was under threat, with the Palestinians accusing Israel of an "alarming" number of violations, including vandalism and damage to properties.
The Palestinian foreign ministry called the decision made by UNESCO a "success" for Palestinian diplomacy.
Hebron claims to be one of the oldest cities in the world, dating from the Chalcolithic period or more than 3,000 years BC, the Unesco resolution said.
At various times it has been conquered by Romans, Jews, Crusaders and Mamluks.
The city is home to the imposing Tomb of the Patriarchs, the resting place of key Biblical figures Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and one of the most important religious sites to Muslims and Jews alike.
The Old City of Hebron has become the fourth cultural property to be inscribed in the world heritage site after Birthplace of Jesus); Church of the Nativity;the Pilgrimage Route; Land of Olives and Vines and Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem.
Source: Emirates News Agency