RAMALLAH, March 1 (JMCC) - A representative of the European Commission issued a statement Monday condemning Israel's plan to add to sites in the occupied West Bank to a list of heritage sites.
Spokesperson for Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, issued the following statement:
The High Representative regards the recent decision by the Government of Israel to add sites in Hebron and Bethlehem to the list of Israeli national heritage sites as detrimental to attempts to relaunch peace negotiations. The European Union calls on Israel to refrain from provocative acts. The European Union recognizes the importance of these religious sites to all three Abrahamic faiths and supports the principle of access for all.
Israel has sought to downplay the move, saying that it was only intended to preserve freedom of religion at Hebron's Ibrahimi Mosque, known to Israeli Jews as the Tomb of the Patriarchs, and a shared shrine in Bethlehem.