Yaish: We are keen to include Nablus on the UNESCO World Heritage List
Dr. Mounir Bishnaki, the Permanent Ambassador of Palestine to UNESCO, and Dr. Muawiya Ibrahim, Academic Vice-President of Al-Istiqlal University, accompanied by Dr. Ahmed Rajoub, General Director of World Heritage at the Ministry of Tourism and Mr. Ehab Dawood, General Director of the Ministry of Rehabilitation and Site Management.
At the beginning of the meeting, Eng. Yaish tackled the difficulty of the conditions in which the Palestinian citizen lives in the various governorates of the country and his attempts in various ways to preserve his land and protect it from the confiscation by the occupation, which requires concerted efforts of all institutions to support the steadfastness of the Palestinian citizen on his land.
During the meeting, Eng. Yaish said that the municipality is ready to cooperate with all institutions, ministries and international bodies in order to prepare the required documents for the inclusion of the city of Nablus in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Stressing the keenness of successive municipal councils to preserve the history and the heritage of the old town in the city of Nablus and preserve the heritage of civilization.
Dr. Bishnaki thanked Eng. Yaish for his hospitality and his interest in the visit, stressing the historical status of Nablus. It is a city that is subject to a number of ancient civilizations and has a long historical and cultural stock. He called on the Municipality to enact a set of laws and regulations that would protect the ancient monuments inside and around the Old City and work with all official and civil authorities to work on ending the requirements of UNESCO and preparing the inclusion of Nablus on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Of the conditions to achieve this, noting that the completion of this file will benefit the great city to contribute to its support economically and culturally.
Dr. Ahmed Al-Rajoub noted the efforts of the Ministry of Tourism and its continuous cooperation with Nablus Municipality in following up all the joint files between them and seeking to accomplish the required matters from the Ministry in order to register Nablus on the World Heritage List.
An official delegation from the British city of Sheffield visited Nablus Municipality. The delegation included former British Member of Parliament and founder of the "Travel to Palestine" initiative Mr. Martin Linton, and a number of members of the City Council and community activists
Mayor Adly Yaish, and council members; Samah Al-Kharouf, Rima Arafat, Ghassan Al-Masri, in addition to Alaa Al-Kharouf and Abdelafo Aker of international relations met with the delegation and discussed the possibility of building cooperative relations between the two cities in a number of fields in the near future. The delegation members expressed their readiness to start future cooperation, especially in light of the great support that the Palestinian cause enjoys in many Sheffield institutions. After the meeting, the delegation were toured the old town and learned about its most important historical and cultural landmarks
The visit was organized by the initiative of Seeds for Development and Culture Association. The delegation was accompanied by Mr. Ra'ed Al-Debi, Director of the Association, and Saif Aqel, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors during their visit to Nablus
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the twin ship relation between Nablus & Lille, a delegation from Nablus Municipality visited the city of Lille, headed by Eng. Adly Yaish, the mayor and council members, Dr. Saher Dweikat, Mr. Ghassan Akkad and Mr. Ayman Shakaa' Nablus - Lille sister city coordinator. A number of events and meetings were held in this occasion and were attended by representatives from cities around the world that linked a twinning relationship with Lille.
The events began with an exhibition for twin cities where the mayor Yaish briefed the audience on the history of Nablus city, its civilization and its role in the national struggle and economic development under a major theme entitled; Sustainable Development. Further, a round table meeting was held and chaired by the Mayor of Lille, Ms. Martin Aubrey, who expressed pride in the twinning relationship with Nablus and Lille city, stressed on the Palestinian people in their struggle and their right of self-determination and the establishment of an independent state.
Mayor Yaish spoke about Nablus' experience in the field of sustainable development and municipal projects including renewable energy for the generation of electricity in order to achieve independence from Israeli control over electricity. He pointed out the commonalities between the two cities in terms of joint work in the field of cultural heritage preservation has strengthen the relations further. He also expressed his pride in the friendship with the Lille municipality in particular, and the French people in general, and France's honorable attitudes towards the Palestinian issue and its continued support for the Palestinian people and their just cause.
The delegation visited a number of cultural facilities of Lille Municipality and also met with a number of members of the Palestinian community in Northern France, in addition to the Palestinian Professor Essam Shahrour, an expert in smart cities in order to exchange experience in this regard.
The delegation also paid a visit to the IT incubator in Lille, the largest of its kind in Europe, and met with its founder, who expressed his readiness to cooperate with Nablus Municipality to establish a technology incubator.
The recommendations of the Conference concluded that cooperation and the relationship should be strengthened to implement a package of joint projects in the area of culture, urban development and information technology, as well as projects in youth, sports, renewable energy and other projects.
Nablus Municipality, the Ministry of Finance and the Palestinian Water Authority have signed an agreement to implement a project of irrigation of agricultural land adjacent to the treatment plant, which will be funded by the German Federal Government through the German Development Bank (KfW).
The project will contribute to the replanting and irrigation of about three thousand hectares of agricultural land, with water purified by the treatment plant according to international quality standards. More than ten thousand cubic meters of water will be treated in the plant per day and the total value of this vital project is ten million euros.
The Mayor of Nablus, Eng. Adly Yaish, said that this project is a comprehensive milestone in the rehabilitation of the agricultural sector in the Zuomer Plain and the surrounding area. He added that the scarcity of rainy seasons and thus the futility of traditional rainfed agriculture forced farmers to abandon their lands. This affected the economic and hence the living conditions of the farmers and compelled the competent authorities to import some types of grains, especially fodder crops for livestock.
Moreover Eng. Yaish confirmed that the improved alfalfa crop, which is characterized by high growth rates and yields compared to other types of crops, will have positive direct and tangible impacts on the livestock sector, especially on dairy farms. He said that the olive fields that will be irrigated with treated water will increase their productivity and thus the financial returns to the farmers. Other varieties of crops such as walnuts and almonds will also be introduced.
The project will include the construction of a treated water conveyor line, the construction of a huge reservoir of 10.000 cubic meters capacity, the installation of water distribution systems from the reservoir to the agricultural land, the installation of a modern sewage treatment plant and the rehabilitation of the targeted agricultural land.
Furthermore Eng. Yaish added that the Nablus Municipality had requested the necessary permits for the project from the Israeli side in the Palestinian liaison, as some areas are located in area "C".