1.         Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town (State of Palestine) (C 1565)

Year of inscription on the World Heritage List  2017

Criteria  (ii)(iv)(vi)

Year(s) of inscription on the List of World Heritage in Danger    2017-present

Threats for which the property was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger

The State Party outlined a series of threats in the nomination file, but none were specified by the World Heritage Committee at the time of inscription

Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger

Draft submitted by the State Party following expert meeting in Paris in December 2018, in accordance with Decision 42 COM 7A.28. Currently under review.

Corrective measures identified

Draft submitted by the State Party following expert meeting in Paris in December 2018, in accordance with Decision 42 COM 7A.28. Currently under review.

Timeframe for the implementation of the corrective measures

In progress

Previous Committee Decisions  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1565/documents/

International Assistance

Requests approved: 0 (from 2018-2018)
Total amount approved: USD 30,000
For details, see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1565/assistance/

UNESCO Extra-budgetary Funds

Total amount granted: USD 375,400 from the Government of Sweden for physical rehabilitation

Previous monitoring missions

N/A

Factors affecting the property identified in previous reports

Illustrative material  see page https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1565/

Conservation issues presented to the World Heritage Committee in 2021

On 28 January 2020, the State Party submitted a report on the state of conservation of the property, an updated version of which was submitted on 29 January 2021. Both reports are available at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1565/documents/, and present the following information:

In addition, UNESCO received several letters from the State Party concerning potential threats to the property and the above-mentioned activities, including land confiscation, plans to construct an elevator at Al-Haram Al Ibrahimi/Tomb of the Patriarchs, prevention of conservation work, demolition and other transformations. The Secretariat followed up with the State Party of Israel, requesting the relevant information.

The State Party considers that the property should remain on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Analysis and Conclusions of the World Heritage Centre, ICOMOS and ICCROM

The State Party has submitted to the World Heritage Centre a revised proposed retrospective SOUV, which has been prepared in accordance with the process adopted through Decision 42 COM 7A.28. The adoption of the SOUV by the Committee is required for the finalization and consideration of the draft DSOCR and draft corrective measures. Furthermore, the SOUV is a fundamental foundation for the MCP.

The MCP project is welcome, as is the State Party’s commitment and submission of a draft document for technical review, but  the MCP must be informed by an adopted SOUV, and its finalization should progress in close collaboration with the World Heritage Centre, the UNESCO Ramallah Office and the Advisory Bodies.

The efforts of the State Party to undertake activities for the conservation and management of the property, and for socio-economic promotion, are welcome and should be encouraged.

The Tangible Cultural Heritage Law and requirements for HIAs and EIAs for major restoration projects within the property are also welcome. The scale and extent of illegal activities, the proposed construction of a new settlement in the old vegetable market (Al-Hisba) within the property, and other transformations, excavations and projects, such as the planned electric elevator at Al-Haram Al-Ibrahimi/Tomb of Patriarchs represent potential threats to the OUV of the property. In accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines, details of any significant conservation and development project should be submitted to the World Heritage Centre for review by the Advisory Bodies, and before making any decisions that would be difficult to reverse.

Any action that would cause damage to the property and its OUV should be avoided by all parties and all possible measures to protect the property should be taken, in particular to refrain from physical damage, prevention of conservation projects, and inappropriate new development projects within the property and its buffer zone.

It is recommended that the property remain on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 44 COM 7A.16

Decision: 44 COM 7A.16

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having considered Document WHC/21/44.COM/7A.Add.2 and the annex attached to this decision,
  2. Recalling Decisions 42 COM 7A.28, and 43 COM 7A 29, adopted at its 42nd (Manama, 2018) and 43rd (Baku, 2019) sessions respectively,
  3. Decides that the status of Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town relating to the World Heritage List remains unchanged as reflected in Decision 41 COM 8B.1 of the World Heritage Committee.

 

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ANNEX

 

The World Heritage Committee
44th session of the Committee (44 COM)
  1. Having considered Document WHC/21/44.COM/7A.Add.2,
  2. Recalling Decision 41 COM 8B.1, adopted at its 41st session (Krakow, 2017), which did not include a SOUV, and noting that in compliance with Paragraph 154 of the Operational Guidelines, when deciding to inscribe a property on the World Heritage List, guided by the Advisory Bodies, the Committee adopts a Statement of Outstanding Universal Value (SOUV) for the property,
  3. Taking note of a preliminary proposed SOUV contained in the state of conservation report submitted by the State Party,
  4. Takes note of the consultations held between experts from UNESCO, the State Party and the Advisory Bodies, to discuss the proposed Statement of Outstanding Universal Value (SOUV), the proposed Desired state of conservation for the removal of the property from the List of World Heritage in Danger (DSOCR), and the related corrective measures, as well as the proposed Management and Conservation Plan for the property, and invites the State Party to continue its efforts to finalize the above documents;
  5. Decides to consider the examination of a draft SOUV for the property at its 45th session in 2022;
  6. Deplores the ongoing Israeli excavations, works, construction of private roads for settlers and of a Wall inside the Old City of Al-Khalil/Hebron which are illegal under international law and harmfully affect the authenticity and integrity of the site, and the subsequent denial of freedom of movement and freedom of access to places of worship, and asks Israel, the occupying Power, to end all violations which are not in conformity with the provisions of relevant UNESCO conventions, resolutions and decisions, and also takes note of reports regarding new planned projects including an electric elevator;
  7. Commends the State Party for the actions which are being taken to conserve significant attributes of the property;
  8. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, for review by the Advisory Bodies, detailed information on current conservation and development projects, particularly projects which have potential adverse impact on heritage, in accordance with Paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines;
  9. Also requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre, by 1 February 2022, an updated report on the state of conservation of the property and the implementation of the above, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 45th session in 2022;
  10. Also decides to retain Hebron/Al-Khalil Old Town (Palestine) on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

Decision Adopted: 44 COM 8C.2

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined the state of conservation reports of properties inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger (WHC/21/44.COM/7A, WHC/21/44.COM/7A.Add, WHC/21/44.COM/7A.Add.2, WHC/21/44.COM/7A.Add.2.Add),
  2. Decides to retain the following properties on the List of World Heritage in Danger: