The United Nations World Heritage Committee has recently voted to recognize Jericho’s Tell es-Sultan archaeological site as a “Palestinian World Heritage Site.” The decision was made during a meeting held in Riyadh, as announced by UNESCO on its official Twitter account. The site, located in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, contains ancient ruins dating back to the 9th millennium BC. Jericho itself is known as one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
The Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has expressed its satisfaction with the decision, acknowledging the cultural, economic, and political significance of Jericho. They released a statement emphasizing the site’s importance, reflecting its role in human development over the past 10,000 years. PA Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Rula Maya, stated that the outstanding universal value of the site justifies its inclusion as a World Heritage Site.
On the other hand, Israel’s Foreign Ministry has voiced its disapproval of the decision, perceiving it as another instance of the Palestinians exploiting UNESCO for political purposes. Jericho is situated in the Jordan Valley, positioned between the Jordan River and Jerusalem. In 2010, Jericho celebrated its distinction as the world’s oldest walled city, tracing its roots back to the modern Stone Age.