Israel invests in disputed West Bank sites

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JERUSALEM — Israel is advancing a plan to invest in places it considers part of its national heritage, including nine West Bank sites, the government said today in an announcement that could appeal to hard-line voters a week ahead of elections. Israeli Cabinet Secretary Tzvi Hauser said Israel is adding handicapped access to the Tomb of the Patriarchs, a sensitive site in the West Bank city of Hebron sacred to both Jews and Muslims.

The U.S. objected to Israel’s initial 2010 announcement that it would label the shrine an Israeli heritage site, charging it impeded peace efforts.

Nour Odeh, a spokeswoman for the Palestinian Authority, called on the international community to condemn the latest Israeli announcement.

“The Tomb of the Patriarchs is a Palestinian site, and the Palestinian Authority is the only one in charge of making any changes to it,” Odeh said today.

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