The UNESCO World Heritage Committee has declared ‘Tel Sultan – Jericho’ in Palestine as a World Heritage Site.
This designation, attained with a majority of votes during the 45th session hosted in Riyadh, makes Tel Sultan–Jericho the first Arab site to receive this recognition.
“This credits all Arabs, especially the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which made every effort to host the session and spared no effort to support the Palestinian cause in all international platforms,” Munir Anastas, the Permanent Delegate of Palestine to UNESCO highlighting the role of Saudi Arabia in supporting the Palestinian cause.
Dr. Ahmed Rajoub, the Director-General of World Heritage in Palestine, highlighted Jericho’s exceptional historical significance, and described Jericho as “the oldest and first socio-political administrative system in the world.”
He highlighted its unique position as the oldest walled city and the lowest ancient walled city globally and explained its key role in human civilisation’s development.
This cultural triumph carries substantial economic and social implications for Palestine. With limited resources but a wealth of cultural, religious, and natural heritage, listing Jericho as a World Heritage Site is expected to boost tourism, enhance the local community’s livelihood, and positively impact the Palestinian economy.
The decision to recognise Jericho as a World Heritage Site came after extensive archaeological research, with Palestine asserting that Tel Sultan is the world’s oldest fortified city, housing historical remnants spanning from the Neolithic period to the Byzantine era.
The site boasts a massive circular tower and protective walls, making it a compelling candidate for World Heritage status.