15.5 C
New York
Friday, September 29, 2023
HomeWorldPalestinian prehistoric site added to UNESCO World Heritage list

Palestinian prehistoric site added to UNESCO World Heritage list

Palestinian prehistoric site added to UNESCO World Heritage list

Tell es-Sultan is an oval-shaped tell or mound in the Jordan Valley and contains prehistoric evidence of human activity.

A United Nations committee voted to include prehistoric ruins near the ancient city of Jericho in the occupied West Bank as a World Heritage Site in Palestine.

The decision, which has been criticized by Israel, was made at a meeting of the UN World Heritage Committee in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday under the auspices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. , UNESCO.

- Advertisement -

The listing refers to the nearby archaeological site of Tell es-Sultan, which contains prehistoric ruins dating to the 9th millennium BC and is located outside the ancient city itself.

“A permanent settlement emerged here between the 9th and 8th millennium BC due to the oasis’ fertile soil and easy access to water,” UNESCO said on its website.

A view of the prehistoric site of Tell es-Sultan [Hazem Bader/AFP]

Tell es-Sultan, an oval-shaped mound, contains evidence of one of humanity’s earliest known villages and an important Bronze Age city dating to 2600 BC

It is located about 2 km (1.2 mi) from the remains of the first city of Jericho, which contains ruins of importance to Jewish history, including a synagogue dating from the 1st century BC

- Advertisement -

Jericho is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities on Earth and is located in a part of the Israeli-occupied West Bank that is administered by the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority.

Israel criticizes the decision

Israel’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Sunday denouncing the decision, calling it a “cynical strategy.”

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs considers today’s decision another sign of the cynical use that Palestinians are making of UNESCO and the politicization of the organization,” the statement said.

“Israel will act with its many friends in the organization to change the wrong decisions made.”

- Advertisement -

Israel quit the U.N. organization in 2019 over accusations that it fosters anti-Israel bias, but sent a delegation to this year’s meeting in Saudi Arabia.

An aerial view of the prehistoric site of Tell es-Sultan [Hazem Bader/AFP]

Israel captured the West Bank, along with Gaza and east Jerusalem, in the 1967 Middle East war. The Palestinians want all three territories for a future state.

There have been no serious or substantial peace negotiations in more than a decade, and Israel is currently led by one of the most far-right nationalist governments in its history, making any progress towards a Palestinian state seem extremely unlikely.

Historical heritage has long been among the many flashpoints of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with both sides using archeology and conservation to demonstrate what they say is their unique connection to the Holy Land.

The Palestinian Authority, recognized a decade ago by the United Nations as a non-member observer state, welcomed the designation of Tell es-Sultan.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said in a statement that it “bears witness to the authenticity and history of the Palestinian people,” adding that “the State of Palestine is committed to preserving this unique site for the benefit of humanity.” .



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular