Palestine Liberation Organization
Negotiations Affairs Department
Palestinian Bid to Inscribe the Birthplace of Jesus- Bethlehem on World Heritage List
Member of Executive Committee and head of the Presidential Committee for Christian Affairs, Mr. Hanna Amira, confirmed that representatives of Jerusalem Churches have warmly received a letter of assurances, dispatched by President Mahmoud Abbas on Palestine’s bid to inscribe the birthplace of Jesus Christ, Bethlehem - the Church of the Nativity and the historic pilgrimage route on the list of World Heritage.
“Church leaders thanked President Abbas for his care and patronage of Churches and Christians in the Holy Land and reaffirmed their strong relationship and continued consultations with the Palestinian leadership,” Mr. Amira said, adding, “Heads of Jerusalem Churches also affirmed their respect for the Palestinian leadership and its sovereign decisions”.
“Israel bears responsibility for the difficulties facing Palestinian authorities in their efforts to preserve and protect historic Churches, mosques, and other religious sites, which are an integral part of the Palestinian social and cultural fabric as well as humanity’s cultural heritage”, declared Amira. In this context, the senior official also affirmed the importance of inscribing the birthplace of Jesus – Bethlehem; the Church of the Nativity and historic pilgrimage route on the list of world heritage. He added, “This step will contribute to the efforts exerted by Palestinian authorities and Churches to protect and preserve Bethlehem and the Church of the Nativity and the cultural heritage they represents to humanity”.