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World Heritage Sites (UNESCO) in Israel

What are World Heritage Sites (WHS)?

To be included on the World Heritage List, sites must be of outstanding universal value and meet at least one out of ten selection criteria:

  • To present a masterpiece of human creative genius
  • to exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design
  • To bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared
  • To be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history
  • To be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change
  • To be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions, with ideas, or with beliefs, with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance. (The Committee considers that this criterion should preferably be used in conjunction with other criteria)
  • To contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance
  • To be outstanding examples representing major stages of earth’s history, including the record of life, significant on-going geological processes in the development of landforms, or significant geomorphic or physiographic features
  • To be outstanding examples representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes in the evolution and development of terrestrial, fresh water, coastal and marine ecosystems and communities of plants and animals
  • To contain the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation of biological diversity, including those containing threatened species of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science or conservation
World Heritage Sites Yellow - Cultural site Green - Natural site Red - in danger
World Heritage Sites
Yellow – Cultural site
Green – Natural site
Red – in danger

How many sites?

There are 1031 World Heritage Sites. 802 are cultural and 197 are natural. 32 are mixed. Of the 1031 WHS 48 are in danger. Italy is home to the greatest number of World Heritage Sites with 51 sites, followed by China (48), Spain (44), France (41), Germany (40), Mexico (33), and India (32).

How many states are party to the convention?

191 states, including Israel, are in various stages of adherence to the World Heritage Convention. Only Liechtenstein, Nauru, Somalia, South Sudan, Timor-Leste, and Tuvalu are not Parties to the Convention.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Approved in Israel

Israel is the country with one of the world’s most significant historic and cultural offerings. Israel is a member of the World Heritage Convention. There are nine World Heritage Sites in Israel.

World Heritage Sites
World Heritage Sites

Tentative list of sites that Israel intends to consider for nomination.

  • Jerusalem (2000)
  • Makhteshim Country (2001)
  • Mount Karkom (2000)
  • Timna (2000)
  • The Crusader Fortresses (2000)
  • The Great Rift Valley – migratory routes – The Hula (2004)
  • Liftah (Mey Naftoah) – Traditional mountain village (2015)
  • Ein Karem, a village and its cultural landscape (2015)

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