Israel has reacted with rage after the United Nations cultural organization UNESCO passed two resolutions recognizing Hebron's Old City and the Ibrahimi mosque, in the occupied West Bank, as endangered Palestinian heritage sites.
Hebron is the only city in the West Bank to have Israeli settlements at its heart, where a few hundred settlers live surrounded by hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the vote as "another delusional decision" but the Palestinian foreign ministry said UNESCO had recognized the right to register "Hebron and the Ibrahimi Mosque under Palestinian sovereignty".
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"[The] resolution on the Cave of the Patriarchs and Hebron disregarded the facts presented in a report by UNESCO's own independent panel of experts and ignored their recommendation against adding them to the list of World Heritage Sites in Danger at this time", Conference Chairman Stephen M. Greenberg and Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Malcolm Hoenlein said in a joint statement.
Kuwait, Lebanon and Tunisia are the three Arab states on UNESCO's heritage committee, which voted for the controversial resolution on Friday afternoon at its meeting in Krakow, Poland.
After UNESCO previously passed Muslim-sponsored resolutions denying the Jewish connection to Jerusalem and the Old City, Israel reduced its UN dues.
Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Riad Malki said in an emailed statement that it serves to refute Israeli lies about the history of Hebron city, calling it a "diplomatic victory".
The city of Hebron in the West Bank is now a United Nations World Heritage site - and Israel pulled $1 million in funding from the U.N.in response.
Hebron has witnessed much Jewish-Arab strife and bloodshed. "It is only in those places where Israel is, such as Hebron, that freedom of religion for all is ensured", Netanyahu said in his Facebook posting.
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If anything, it reinforces the fact that Israel categorically refuses any global measure that may inadvertently or consciously reinforce Palestinian identity and statehood.
By contrast, Palestinians massacred and expelled the city's Jewish population in 1929, while Jordan barred Jews from praying in Hebron from 1948 to 1967.
"The city of Hebron is an open archive of history, it's so important to protect these sites, which are under threat from the Israeli occupation", he said.
Ms Haley added to the criticism on saying it was "tragic on several levels", adding: "It represents an affront to history".
Hebron is a stark example of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Arabs massacred 69 Jews there in 1929. The compound is the holiest site in Judaism and the third-holiest in Islam, after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.
In 1994, an American Jew named Baruch Goldstein opened fire on Palestinians praying at the site, killing 29 before being beaten to death by survivors.
Israel blames the violence on incitement by Palestinian religious and political leaders, compounded by social media.