The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is preparing to declare Tel Yericho, the Biblical city of Yericho as a “Palestinian heritage site.”
Likud MK Dan Illouz, a member of the Knesset’s Land of Israel Caucus, sent a letter to UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay asking her to prevent the listing of ancient Yericho as being located in the “State of Palestine.”
The UNESCO World Heritage Committee is planning on voting in favor of the move in Riyadh, in its 45th session from Sept. 10-25.
“The Palestinian Authority works systematically to erase all ties of the Jewish people to the Land of Israel,” Illouz wrote.
“A decision to assign Jericho to ‘Palestine’ would constitute a blatant interference by UNESCO in a conflict in which it is not its role to intervene. Jericho is first and foremost a city of biblical significance. Blurring this fact is an insult to millions of Jews and Christians all over the world.”
“It is our duty to stop the P.A.’s subversion and insist on our right to our land,” Illouz concluded.
In 2016, the UNESCO listed Mearas HaMachpeilah, in Chevron, as being located in the “State of Palestine.”
From 2009-2014, UNESCO passed 47 resolutions, 46 of which were against Israel and one which was against Syria.
The Trump administration withdrew its membership from UNESCO in 2017 following numerous anti-Israel decisions by the organization questioning Israeli presence in Jerusalem and naming ancient Jewish sites as Palestinian heritage sites. Israel followed suit just days later, withdrawing its membership as well. The Biden administration rejoined UNESCO in June 2023.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)