Since joining UNESCO in October 2011, Palestine ratified UNESCO’s Constitution and became a State Party to six UNESCO conventions and related protocols. Palestine has made concrete achievements with regards to World Heritage since then, and listed its first World Heritage Site: Birthplace of Jesus: Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem in June 2012. The second site, Palestine: Land of Olives and Vines – Cultural Landscape of Southern Jerusalem, Battir, was inscribed on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites in June 2014, and a third, Hebron / Al-Khalil Old Town was inscribed in June 2017. UNESCO provided technical and financial support to the preparation of the Conservation and Management Plans of the aforementioned properties, through International Assistance under the World Heritage Fund as well as through other funding sources. Following this support, the World Heritage Committee, in its 43rd session held in June 2019, decided to remove the World Heritage Site Birthplace of Jesus: the Church of the Nativity and the Pilgrimage Route, Bethlehem from the List of World Heritage in Danger. This decision was due to the high quality of work carried out on the Nativity Church, the restoration of its roof, exterior facades, mosaics and doors. In addition, it is due to the endorsement of the Conservation and Management Plan of the Site, as one of the corrective measures requested by the Committee. The conservation and management plan is developed in line with the international standards with the technical and financial support of UNESCO.
UNESCO Ramallah Office also supports the State of Palestine in the preparation of nomination files for sites inscribed on its Tentative List, which includes thirteen Palestinian sites of potential outstanding universal value. Recently, the International Assistance request submitted by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities for developing the nomination dossier of Ancient Jericho: Tell es-Sultan site has been approved, and the Ministry shall soon start the preparation of the dossier.
Furthermore, the Culture Unit at UNESCO Ramallah Office is technically and financially supporting the preparation of a conservation and management plan for the Sebastia site, that is also inscribed on the Tentative List of Palestine since 2012.