A picture taken on June 29, 2017 shows a view of the houses in the old town of the divided city of Hebron in the southern West Bank. AFP / HAZEM BADER
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The United Nations' cultural arm will decide whether to declare the Old City of Hebron a protected zone this week, the latest Palestinian-Israeli spat at the international body.Hebron, in the occupied West Bank, is home to more than 200,000 Palestinians and a few hundred Israeli settlers, who live in a heavily fortified enclave near the site known to Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque and to Jews as the Tomb of the Patriarchs. UNESCO's World Heritage Committee is expected to vote Friday on a resolution brought by Palestine declaring Hebron's Old City, including where the settlers live, an area of outstanding universal value. In a separate vote Tuesday, the heritage committee backed a resolution condemning Israeli actions in Jerusalem, sparking Israeli anger.Israel says the Hebron resolution, which refers to the city as "Islamic," denies thousands of years of Jewish connection there. Hebron claims to be one of the oldest cities in the world, dating from the Chalcolithic Period or more than 3,000 B.C., the UNESCO resolution said.
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