Palestinian leaders hail UN decision to place Bethlehem on World Heritage List; Israel not to cooperate with UNHRC probe of settlement activity; Russia to provide US$ 1.5m worth aid to PNA
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    According to reports, the Palestinian President’s office has welcomed a decision by the UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee to include the West Bank city of Bethlehem and its holy sites on its World Heritage List. The spokesperson added that the vote was a “recognition of the rights of our people and their independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.” Palestinian leaders see the decision as one step towards international recognition of a Palestinian state. 1

    Meanwhile, according to reports, Israel has said it will refuse to cooperate with a UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) fact finding mission on Israeli West Bank settlement activity and building in East Jerusalem. The UNRC appointed three international jurists to the mission on July 6, 2012. An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson has said that members of the mission will not be allowed entry into Israel and occupied territories. He added that the mission embodies “the inherent distortion that typifies the UNHRC treatment of Israel and the hijacking of the important human rights agenda by non democratic countries”. 2

    In other developments, reports noted that Russia will provide aid worth more than US$ 1.5 million to the Palestinian National Authority during this year. 3

    • 1. “Palestinian leaders hail UN decision to include Bethlehem on World Heritage List”, Palestinian news agency Wafa website, June 30, 2012
    • 2. “Israel refuses to cooperate with UNHCR probe of settlement activity”, The Jerusalem Post website, July 6, 2012
    • 3. “Russia to provide Palestinian National Authority with 1.5m dollars of aid in 2012”, Interfax news agency, July 4, 2012