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Haley: UN Should Reject Palestinian Request for Endangered Site List

Image: Haley: UN Should Reject Palestinian Request for Endangered Site List
Nikki Haley, U.S. ambassador to the United Nation. (AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 04 Jul 2017 12:09 PM

The United Nations should reject a Palestinian request to add the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Hebron’s old city to the World Heritage in Danger list, Nikki Haley, the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations, said Monday ahead of a Friday vote on the issue in Poland.

“The Tomb of the Patriarchs, which is sacred to three faiths, is under no immediate threat. Such a designation risks undermining the seriousness such an assessment by UNESCO should have,” Haley said in a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization Director-General Irina Bokova, according to Haaretz.

The Palestinians said that Israel’s occupation of the area endangers the sites, according to Haaretz.

“Many precious sites — from the Democratic Republican of the Congo to Libya to Iraq to Syria — are under real and imminent threat of destruction today. They urgently demand UNESCO’s full and immediate attention, which should not be wasted on this sort of symbolic action,” Haley said in her letter.

Adding the sites to the list comes at a time that could hurt chances for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Haley wrote in the letter, according to Haaretz.

“I hope you will join the United States in opposing this measure,” she wrote, according to Haaretz.

The World Heritage Committee will be looking at inscription requests for 35 sites during its Krakow, Poland meeting. The United States is not a member of the committee.

Shama HaCohen, Israel’s UNESCO ambassador, noted that the vote takes place in Poland, where Jews died in concentration camps during the Holocaust in World War II. “This pursuit of the Jewish states is taking place a short drive away from the most horrible and sensitive place from a Jewish perspective, and from the perspective of any human being who has not lost his soul,” HaCohen said, according to The Jerusalem Post.

HaCohen thanked Haley for her “determination and courage” on the matter, according to Haaretz.

UNESCO recognized the Palestinian nation as a member state in 2011, and has inscribed two West Bank locations to the Heritage in Danger list: The Church of the Nativity in 2012 and Battir’s agricultural terraces in 2014, according to The Jerusalem Post.

The International Council on Monuments and Sites, a panel that evaluates requests for inscription onto the heritage list, did not recommend adding the two locations to the list. The council said Israel had not allowed the council’s experts to assess whether the site was endangered, according to The Jerusalem Post.

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The United Nations should reject a Palestinian request to add the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Hebron’s old city to the World Heritage in Danger list, Nikki Haley, the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations, said Monday ahead of a Friday vote on the issue in Poland.
united nations, nikki haley, palestine
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2017-09-04
Tuesday, 04 Jul 2017 12:09 PM
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