The Lebanese delegate ( Who announces himself as an architect and an architectural historian) "demolishes" one of the ICOMOS suggestions that the site should be considered in future as an extended site beyond the old town core. Would seem to be part of the strategy to avoid any extraneous aspects diverting discussion from the main item here and NOW!
Says that the situation in Hebron is similar to "Apartheid" and that the WHC should take its responsibilities seriously and decide to inscribe NOW despite all the difficulties put in the way for a proper evaluation.
Tunisia - why does the draft decision as proposed have no "Decision"? Just reflects the obstacles put in the way by Israel - the WHC should decide to inscribe.
Poland suggests - no sense in any more discussions - lets go directly to a secret ballot to avoid this very sensitive subject involving inter religious conflict
Cuba clearly wants to have a full and open discussion and objects to this suggestion
Tunisia wants a vote by handshow (supported by Kuwait) - there shall be NO hiding place!!!
Jamaica and Croatia support secret ballot -so that's enough countries to justify a secret ballot (at least 2 must ask). Poland points out that with 3 wanting secret ballot so no more discussion on this.
Lebanon also wants open vote - says that the rules should ask for an open vote on the means of balloting!! The chairman says he has looked into this before hand and the advice he has received is that 2 is enough to justify secret ballot.
Legal advisor points out that the first matter is that debate on the issue is closed. The Chairman is very happy with this - "Debate is closed"!!!!
Legal advisor says that the rules are clear - there must be a secret ballot.
Interesting how many of the WHC have "kept their powder dry" and not made their position on the matter public. Poland and Jamaica are leading for the pro Isreal view and Lebanon and Cuba for the pro Arab view.
"Oh excuse me but what are we voting on ........"? Chair - a good question!!!
Lebanon/Kuwait/Tunisia have made a suggestion adding to the earlier draft - uses Israeli refusal to allow a proper evaluation as the reason to inscribe anyway - suggests that the property meets crit ii, iv and vi and also meets threat issues requiring immediate action - inscription AND in danger.
This amendment is accepted as the basis for the vote. and the secret ballot will take place on it.
The Chair hands over (with relief!!!!) to the secretariat!!!
The secretariat asks that ONLY voting delegates come up to the box - can't have any voting hanky panky can we!! Chair reminds everyone that the ballot is SECRET! (one assumes that the states parties MUST know how this is going to go - hence cutting off discussion)
There is an "incident" where some delegates come up who shouldn't be there and insist on seeing the vote and even shout at the Chair -they are sent away!
Majority of 2/3rds present AND voting required
A delegate (It was the ISRAELI one this time but not sure about the previous ones - we see when he eventually walks back to his chair!!!) comes up again and argues with the chair seeming to suggest that he had previously talked with the chair and expected an open ballot- the audio is switched off -security is called!!!! He walks back eventually.
They eventually start the vote after a delay of some 10 minutes - Angola, Azerbaijan, B Faso, Croatia, Cuba, Finland, Indonesia, Jamaica, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Rep of Korea, Tunisia, Turkey, Tanzania, Vietnam, Zimbabwe.
The camera pans away from the close up opening of the ballots so we can't really see the 3 piles (For/Against/Abst) building up!!
Lebanon looks a bit "Worried" - Korea is making "It's close" hand gestures (assuming I know Korean hand gestures - I am assuming they are the same as French!!!) - but with a smile.
It sure takes a long time to open and count 21 pieces of paper!!!
Surprisingly low "No" numbers of votes