UNESCO, the UN’s cultural agency, has added the Tunisian resort island of Djerba to its list of World Heritage Sites, AFP reports.

The announcement was made on Monday, and UNESCO cited the island’s ancient ruins, whitewashed villages, mosques, churches and synagogues as the reasons behind its decision.

The United Nations cultural organization took the decision in Saudi Arabia, during its 45th world heritage committee meeting.

"The committee meeting of UNESCO member states has just approved the inscription on the World Heritage List of the island of Djerba," the organization’s regional director for the Maghreb, Eric Falt, said.

Djerba covers an area of 514 square kilometers and is the largest island off North Africa. The island is home to one of the last Jewish communities in the Arab world, and houses the Ghriba synagogue, which is the oldest in Africa and is believed to date to the sixth century BCE.

Thousands of Jews flock annually to the Ghriba synagogue to celebrate the holiday of Lag Ba’Omer. This year, a terrorist attack targeted the synagogue. Two Jews – cousins Aviel Hadad and Ben Hadad – and three police officers were murdered in the attack.

Tunisia's culture ministry welcomed what it called the "final acceptance" of Djerba, saying the UNESCO decision "does justice to the joint efforts" of both the authorities and civil society.

Tunisia had sought since 2017 to achieve UNESCO World Heritage status for the island of Djerba.