A United Nations body recently declared that two Israeli holy sites now belong to Muslims.
CBN News reports that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared that the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem are Palestinian sites.
The declaration comes in the wake of escalated violence between Israelis and Palestinians, with deaths on both sides. Last week Palestinians set fire to the tomb of the Biblical patriarch Joseph.
Israelis claim that if holy sites are given over to Palestinian control, they will be set fire to like Joseph’s tomb.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon commented on UNESCO’s recent declaration:
“It is an attempt by the Arab side, and by the Palestinians, to change history and pretend as if those places, which are holy places for Judaism, which have been holy places for Judaism for thousands of years, are actually Palestinian or Muslim holy places,” Nahshon said.
There was also talk of declaring the Western Wall to be a Palestinian site, but this was ultimately rejected, although Nahshon said that the issue will likely be raised again in the future.
“Even such an organization — such as UNESCO, which has become a puppet in the hands of the Palestinians — there is a limit to what you can do. But I have no doubt that they will try again,” Nahshon said.
UNESCO’s declaration includes an accusation of Israeli aggression on the Temple Mount, although CBN News reports that it is the Palestinians who have attacked police and visitors to the Temple Mount.