This Friday June 29, in St. Petersburg Russia, UNESCO granted the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem endangered world heritage status. The bid for recognition was considered under an emergency procedure. Quoting the Jerusalem Post, the Palestinians said that, "... the church needed urgent repairs and that it was additionally in danger from Israel's "occupation" of the area." However, the Montreal Gazette noted that, "Independent experts sent by UNESCO to examine the church recommended turning down the request, saying that while the church roof needed patching up, the shrine could not be considered "to have been severely damaged or to be under imminent threat."" The Montreal Gazette also reported the, "Palestinians had pointed to what they described as the dangers of Israeli occupation and cited in particular Israel's 2002 siege of the Church of the Nativity where militants took sanctuary during a Palestinian uprising." This incident was when Palestinian terrorists found shelter in the Church during the intifada in April 2002 and while Israel did not damage the Church at the time, the BBC reported that, "The Vatican has issued a stern warning to Israel to respect religious sites in line with its international obligations, following a gun battle around Bethlehem's besieged Church of the Nativity." The Vatican didn't seem very concerned with the terrorists residing there. It is fairly clear why the Palestinians would want to become recognized, as the state which would have <b>...</b>
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