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 Jericho ruins listed as UNESCO site in Palestine infographic
Graphic shows the site of Tell Es-Sultan in ancient Jericho.


Jericho ruins listed as UNESCO site in Palestine

By Phil Bainbridge

September 18, 2023 - A UN committee has voted to list prehistoric ruins near the ancient West Bank city of Jericho as a World Heritage Site in Palestine, a decision disputed by Israel, which controls the territory and does not recognise a Palestinian state.

Jericho is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities on Earth, and is located in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, under the administration of the internationally recognised Palestinian Authority. Israel captured the West Bank, along with Gaza and east Jerusalem, in 1967, and while the Palestinians want all three territories for their state, the West Bank contains biblical sites central to the Jewish religion.

Although Israel quit UNESCO in 2019 over bias that diminished its connection to the Holy Land, it remains party to the World Heritage Convention and sent a a delegation to the meeting in Riyadh where the decision was made.

The oval-shaped mound known as Tell es-Sultan and the perennial spring of Ain es-Sultan, which sit outside and are distinct from the ancient city itself, contain prehistoric remains of human activity, with a permanent settlement dating back to the 9th to 8th millennium BC. Vestiges from the Middle Bronze Age have revealed the presence of a large Canaanite city-state with a socially complex population.

PUBLISHED: 19/09/2023; STORY: Graphic News