UN - UNESCO Declares Hebron Palestinian World Heritage Site

Arno Froese

The Tomb of the Patriarchs—also known as the Ibrahimi Mosque—is revered by Jews, Muslims and Christians as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob’s burial place.

It is the second holiest site in Judaism and the fourth in Islam.

Inscription would place the site under international standards of conservation, and would oblige Unesco to review its situation every year, they said.

Israel had rejected the Palestinian allegations and complained that the resolution, which refers to Hebron’s “Islamic history,” denied a Jewish connection to the city.

The US had argued that the Tomb of the Patriarchs was “under no immediate threat” and that adding it to the list of sites in danger “risked undermining the seriousness such an assessment by Unesco should have.”

“Today, Palestine and the world, through Unesco, celebrate Hebron as part of world heritage, a value that transcends geography, religion, politics, and ideology,” a Palestinian foreign ministry statement said.

Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who heads Israel’s Unesco committee, denounced the vote and accused the UN agency of being a “political tool.”

“The Jewish connection to Hebron goes back thousands of years. Hebron, the birthplace of King David’s kingdom, and the Tomb of the Patriarchs, the first Jewish purchase in Israel and resting place of our forefathers—are our people’s oldest heritage sites,” he said.

The resolution kept the Old City and its historic walls on the List of World Heritage in Danger, and called on the Israeli authorities to “cease the persistent excavations, tunneling, works and projects” that it stated were “illegal under international law.”

-www.bbc.com, 7 July 2017

Arno's commentary

The vote is not surprising. In spite of Israel’s strong objection, Hebron is now “Arab-Palestinian.”

Hebron is mentioned in Genesis 13:18: “Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the Lord.” Later, in chapter 23, we read: “And Sarah died in Kirjatharba; the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan: and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her…My lord, hearken unto me: the land is worth four hundred shekels of silver; what is that betwixt me and thee? bury therefore thy dead. And Abraham hearkened unto Ephron; and Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver, which he had named in the audience of the sons of Heth, four hundred shekels of silver, current money with the merchant…Unto Abraham for a possession in the presence of the children of Heth, before all that went in at the gate of his city. And after this, Abraham buried Sarah his wife in the cave of the field of Machpelah before Mamre: the same is Hebron in the land of Canaan. And the field, and the cave that is therein, were made sure unto Abraham for a possession of a buryingplace by the sons of Heth” (verses 2, 19-20). Hebron, according to Scripture, is Israeli territory, but according to the world it is Arab Palestinian.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

Read more from this author

ContactAbout UsPrivacy and Safety