Israel has added two shrines located in the West Bank to a list of national heritage sites, a decision that shows that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “is actively working to sabotage the two-state solution,” said a Palestinian peace negotiator.

The U.N. special coordinator for the region expressed concern, noting that the sites — the Tomb of the Patriarchs, where Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are believed to be buried, and the Tomb of Rachel — are not only in Palestinian territory, but also are considered holy places in Islam as well as Judaism.

Netanyahu said the sites are important because they represent the historic roots connecting Jews to the land.

The BBC reports that the Israeli prime minister may have been under pressure from nationalist influences.

The mayor of Hebron, where one of the sites is located, said, “This is a very sensitive religious issue, and Netanyahu just lit the fire.” — PZS

Sources: Haaretz, BBC


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