Palestinians to seek more UNESCO site recognitions
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Palestinians to seek more UNESCO site recognitions

Israeli government spokesperson dismisses the plan to add more sites as 'purely propaganda'

'The Siege' is set at the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem believed to be the birthplace of Jesus. (photo credit: Nasser Shiyoukhi, AP)
'The Siege' is set at the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem believed to be the birthplace of Jesus. (photo credit: Nasser Shiyoukhi, AP)

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — The Palestinian Authority says it will seek to have additional religious West Bank sites recognized by UNESCO as endangered World Heritage sites.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki named a site holy to Jews and Muslims in Hebron where biblical patriarchs and their wives are buried, and Mount Gerizim near Nablus.

Last week, UNESCO approved Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity as an endangered site in a move Palestinians hailed as a key step toward statehood. The United States and Israel dismissed it as cynical politicization of the cultural body.

Malki said the church’s recognition was the start of a “long term project.”

Israeli government spokesman Yigal Palmor dismissed the plan to add more sites as “purely propaganda.” He hoped UNESCO would reject the move.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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