UN Committee Votes to List Ancient Jericho as a World Heritage Site in Palestine

The logo of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) headquarters in Paris, on October 12, 2017. (AFP)
The logo of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) headquarters in Paris, on October 12, 2017. (AFP)
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UN Committee Votes to List Ancient Jericho as a World Heritage Site in Palestine

The logo of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) headquarters in Paris, on October 12, 2017. (AFP)
The logo of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) headquarters in Paris, on October 12, 2017. (AFP)

A UN conference voted Sunday to list the ancient West Bank city of Jericho 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 the Israeli-occupied West Bank that is administered by the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the UN World Heritage Committee in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, under the auspices of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO.

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. But Israel remains a party to the World Heritage Convention.

Israel captured the West Bank, along with Gaza and east Jerusalem, in the 1967 Mideast war. The Palestinians want all three territories for their future state. Israel views the West Bank as the biblical and cultural heartland of the Jewish people.

There have been no serious or substantive peace negotiations in over a decade, and Israel is currently led by the most nationalist and religious government in its history, making any move toward Palestinian statehood nearly unimaginable.

The modern city of Jericho is a major draw for tourism to the Palestinian territories, 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.



Hira Cultural District Launches ‘Summer of Hira’ Events

Located next to Jabal Al-Nour, one of Makkah’s most famous landmarks, the district opens its doors daily to visitors from around the world  - SPA
Located next to Jabal Al-Nour, one of Makkah’s most famous landmarks, the district opens its doors daily to visitors from around the world - SPA
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Hira Cultural District Launches ‘Summer of Hira’ Events

Located next to Jabal Al-Nour, one of Makkah’s most famous landmarks, the district opens its doors daily to visitors from around the world  - SPA
Located next to Jabal Al-Nour, one of Makkah’s most famous landmarks, the district opens its doors daily to visitors from around the world - SPA

The Hira Cultural District on Saturday launched the activities of “Summer of Hira,” which will run until Saturday, August 8th.

The events, designed to cater to both residents and visitors of the Makkah Region, include various activities such as 360-degree corners, ice cream and juice service, camel and horse rides, painting workshops, calligraphy sessions, and displays by productive families. Additionally, there will be a kids’ zone, a caravan, and events featuring pets, birds, and a photo contest, SPA reported.

Visitors can also experience a unique cultural journey at the Revelation Exhibition, which features life-sized models of the Cave of Hira and a large screen narrating the story of the revelation to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).
Located next to Jabal Al-Nour, one of Makkah’s most famous landmarks, the district opens its doors daily to visitors from around the world, showcasing Saudi Arabia's advancements in developing historical sites and enriching the religious and cultural experience of its guests. The district offers a unique and enriching experience, providing an entertaining, cultural, and historical journey into the past that leaves a lasting impression.
Spanning approximately 67,000 square meters, it accommodates a diverse range of tourists from various nationalities and social segments.