Original Videos from Al-Monitor
VoxBox: Bethlehem UNESCO
On July 7, 2012 Bethlehem held celebrations to mark the addition of Christ's birthplace and the Pilgrimage Route to UNESCO's World Heritage sites in danger. Palestinian officials and local residents attending the festivities all expressed hope that the move would help future statehood bids at the United Nations as well as bring more tourists. In September 2011, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas failed to gain membership at the United Nations when the United States spearheaded a campaign to block the move. UNESCO's addition of the two Palestinian sites to its World Heritage list last month, angered Israel and its US ally yet again. They said it was a political ploy to push for international recognition of Palestine as a state without prior negotiations with the Jewish state. In October last year, UNESCO voted to grant Palestine full membership, and lost US funding as a result.
TAGS: Bethlehem, Church of the Nativity, UNESCO, Israel, Palestine, UN, United States, Statehood, World heritage