UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee has approved a new resolution on the status of conservation of the Old City of Jerusalem. In a secret vote, the UN cultural body agreed to retain the walled area, home to key Muslim, Christian and Jewish holy sites, on the list of endangered world heritage. It also criticized Israel for its continuous refusal to let the body’s experts access Jerusalem’s holy sites to determine their conservation status.
The document refers to the Jerusalem site only by its Arab name. Muslims refer to it as al-Haram al-Sharif, Arabic for the Noble Sanctuary, and it includes the al-Aqsa mosque and the golden Dome of the Rock. It is the third holiest in Islam, after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.