Implementation of 189 EX/Decision 9 on the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Rachel’s Tomb – UNESCO decision







Implementation of 189 EX/Decision 9 on “the two Palestinian sites of al-Haram al Ibrāhīmī/Tomb of the Patriarchs in al-Khalīl/Hebron and the Bilāl ibn Rabāh Mosque/Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem”

The Executive Board decided, upon the recommendation3 of the Programme and External Relations Commission, that the debate on this item be adjourned to its 191st session, and that the draft decision contained in document 190 EX/PX/DR.7 be annexed to the present decision.


3 After a roll-call vote of 28 votes in favour, 23 votes against and 4 abstentions,

the following States having voted for the adjournment of the debate: Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Grenada, Haiti, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Malawi, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Slovakia, Spain, Syrian Arab Republic, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Uzbekistan and Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of).

the following States having voted against: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Congo, Cuba, Djibouti, Egypt, Ecuador, France, Gambia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Mali, Namibia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Zimbabwe.

Abstentions: Angola, Gabon, Thailand and Viet Nam.

Absent: Barbados, Ethiopia and Papua New Guinea. 

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Item 14

Implementation of 189 EX/Decision 9 on "the two Palestinian sites of al-Haram al Ibrāhīmī/
Tomb of the Patriarchs in al-Khalīl/Hebron and the Bilāl ibn Rabāh Mosque/Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem”


Submitted by: Algeria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and United Arab Emirates

The Executive Board,

1. Having examined document 190 EX/14,

2. Recalling UNESCO decisions on the two Palestinian sites in Hebron/al-Khalīl and in Bethlehem, as well as the provisions of the four Geneva Conventions (1949) and their additional Protocols, the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (1954) and its additional Protocols and the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972) and also recalling the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (1970),

3. Bearing in mind that the two concerned sites located in Hebron/al-Khalīl and in Bethlehem are an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territory and that no unilateral action should be undertaken by the Israeli authorities,

4. Affirming that nothing in the present decision, which aims at the safeguarding of the Palestinian cultural heritage, shall in any way affect the relevant United Nations resolutions and decisions, in particular the relevant Security Council resolutions,

5. Expresses its deep concern over the ongoing Israeli works in Hebron/ al-Khalīl, such as the construction of a separation wall inside the Old City of Hebron and the creation of private roads for settlers, that dangerously and irreversibly affect the city’s distinctive character, both religious and cultural, historical and demographical;

6. Regrets the denial of freedom of movement and freedom of access to places of worship due to the above mentioned Israeli practices and other Israeli restrictions;

7. Also regrets the Israeli authorities refusal to comply with 185 EX/Decision 15 concerning “the two Palestinian sites of Al-Haram Al-Ibrahimi/Tomb of the Patriarchs in Al-Khalīl/Hebron and the Bilāl Ibn Rabāh Mosque/Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem” and urges them to act in accordance with the mentioned decision in conformity with their adherence to UNESCO decisions and conventions;

8. Decides to include this item on the agenda of the 191st session of the Executive Board and invites the Director-General to submit to it a follow-up report thereon.

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