Bible and archaeology news
This week, UNESCO, the top cultural body of the United Nations, granted full membership to the Palestinians, a move that gives the Palestinian Authority (PA) the right to nominate ancient cultural and archaeological sites in Gaza and the West Bank for inclusion on the world heritage list. While it is hoped that membership will allow the PA to promote and conserve many important sites within its territories, including Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, the ancient port city of Gaza and numerous archaeological sites in and around the West Bank towns of Jericho, Hebron and Nablus, there is also considerable risk. Both the US and Israel strongly opposed the UNESO membership bid, suggesting that any recognition of Palestine by the UN places future peace agreements in jeopardy. For its part, the US vowed to stop its financial support of the cultural body. US funding makes up 22 percent of UNESCO’s budget.
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