UN Committee, in a Move Likely To Anger Israel, Votes To List Ruins Near Ancient Jericho as a World Heritage Site
Jericho is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities on earth, and is in a part of Judea that is administered by the Palestinian Authority.
A United Nations conference voted Sunday to list prehistoric ruins near the ancient city of Jericho at Judea as a World Heritage Site in Palestine, a decision likely to anger 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 Judea that is administered by the Palestinian Authority. The listing refers to the Tel es-Sultan archaeological site nearby, which contains prehistoric ruins dating back to the ninth millenium B.C. and is outside the ancient city itself.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the U.N. World Heritage Committee at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, under the auspices of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
Israel quit Unesco in 2019, accusing it of being biased against it and of diminishing its connection to the Holy Land. Israel also objected to Unesco’s acceptance of Palestine as a member state in 2011. Israel remains a party to the World Heritage Convention, and it sent a delegation to the meeting at Riyadh.
The modern city of Jericho is a major draw for tourism, both because of its historical sites and proximity to the Dead Sea. In 2021, the Palestinian Authority unveiled major renovations to one of the largest mosaics in the Middle East, in a Jericho palace dating back to the 8th century.