A U.N. committee voted Sunday to list prehistoric ruins near the ancient West Bank city of Jericho as a World Heritage Site in Palestine, a decision that angered Israel, which controls the territory and does not recognize a Palestinian state.
Jericho is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities on earth, and is in a part of the Israeli-occupied West Bank that is administered by the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority. The listing refers to the Tell es-Sultan archaeological site nearby, which contains prehistoric ruins dating back to the ninth millennium B.C. and is outside the ancient city itself.
The decision was made at a meeting of the U.N. World Heritage Committee in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, under the auspices of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO.
Israel’s foreign ministry released a statement Sunday that said the listing was a “cynical” ploy by the Palestinians to politicize UNESCO, and that Israel will work with its allies to reverse what it says are the organization’s “distorted” decisions.—AP