Last Update 17:22
Saturday, 20 July 2019

Palestinians want Bethlehem on UN heritage list

Palestinian Authority asks UNESCO to add the town of Bethlehem to the list of of world heritage sites

AFP , Monday 7 Feb 2011
Views: 1536
Views: 1536

The Palestinian Authority is to launch a campaign to get the West Bank town of Bethlehem, Jesus's traditional birthplace, added to UNESCO's list of world heritage sites, officials said on Sunday.

The Palestinian tourism ministry will launch the drive on Monday to get the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation to recognise the "Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage route," to their list, a ministry statement said.

"Palestine is home to some of the most important heritage sites in the world. One of the most striking and universally significant is the Old City of Bethlehem and the birthplace of Jesus," the statement quoted Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat as saying.

"The Palestinians are eager to share their heritage with the rest of the world," he added.

The heritage of the Holy Land has taken on central role in the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

Last November Israel reduced its cooperation with UNESCO in protest at its description of 'Rachel's Tomb', as mosque of Bilal ibn Rabah.

Earlier this year, Israel announced plans to include the Bilal ibn Rabah Mosque's site and the Sanctuary of Abraham in a 'national heritage restoration plan', a decision criticised by UNESCO as "escalating tension" in the area.

Israel defended the decision at the time, saying the plan involved only restoration work and promising there would be no attempt to change the delicate status quo at these sites.

Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

© 2010 Ahram Online.