WATCH: Hotovely defends Cave of the Patriarchs before the UN

Deputy Foreign Minister warns countries participating in UN effort to classify Jewish holy site 'Palestinian' risk aggravating conflict.

Mordechai Sones,

Minister Tzipi Hotovely
Minister Tzipi Hotovely
צילום: Flash 90

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely convened a meeting yesterday (Monday) of roughly two dozen foreign ambassadors whose nations are represented on the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) committee that will soon vote on a PA effort to have the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hevron declared a "Palestinian heritage site", reported Breitbart.

Hotovely described the vote as a threat to “co-existence between Israelis and Palestinians, as well as to the legitimacy of UNESCO.” She described UNESCO as “kidnapped” by Arab efforts at “rewriting history,” starting with last month’s decision to deny the millennia-old Jewish connection to Jerusalem.

She noted the importance of the Machpela Cave, where Judaism’s three Patriarchs are buried, along with three of the four Matriarchs (the fourth, Rachel, is buried near Bethlehem). She added that Hevron was where King David first established his throne before conquering Jerusalem. She reminded the ambassadors of the effort by Israeli authorities to provide freedom of worship at the Cave of the Patriarchs — something that Jews had been denied for centuries. Israel recently allowed Muslims to hold an iftar dinner in the cave, she said.

The PA leadership, she said, was “trying to rewrite history,” to hurt Israel and prospects for peace. She accused the PA of falsifying their claims using photographs taken of other cites and purporting to show the Cave of the Patriarchs. “This is your duty, to say the truth … This is your duty, not to give the Palestinians the ability to use UNESCO … to promote fake history,” she said. She noted that a 1997 agreement with the PA had placed the Cave of the Patriarchs under Israeli control, accusing the Arabs of trying to renege.

The World Heritage Committee’s 21 members will meet next week in Krakow, Poland to vote on the Hevron issue, according to the Jerusalem Post. Israel has denied visas to committee members because of past decisions it has made asserting Arab heritage over sites in Israel. The U.S. cut funding to UNESCO in 2011 because of its decision to recognize Palestinian statehood, violating agreed principles of the Oslo peace process.