The Palestinian Tangible Cultural Heritage Law of the Year 2018
Publication Type
Original research

With the end of World War I and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the
British formed their administration in Palestine, which lasted until the
establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. Many archaeological projects
such as excavations, surveys and the creations of lists of sites and
monuments were conducted during this time. The British established the
British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem in 1919. In 1929, the British
Mandate issued the Antiquities Law which cover all archaeological
activities in Palestine. In 1948, Israel gained archaeological sovereignty
over its own new territory. At the same time, Jordan assumed
responsibilities for the West Bank, where the local Department of
Antiquities was combined with the Jordanian Department of Antiquities.
Archaeology in the West Bank continued to be conducted mainly by foreign
expeditions and institutions. Until 1956, the director of the Department of
Antiquities was a British archaeologist, later replaced by Jordanian
personnel. The 1967 Six-Day War marked the beginning of Israeli
occupation of the West Bank, and the establishment of a Staff Officer for
Archaeology. From this point on, it was Israel who conducted
archaeological projects in the West Bank, according to its own interests and
agendas, while the Palestinians were prevented from carrying out their own
excavations and research. This situation changed with the signing of the
Oslo Accords and transfer of some areas of the West Bank under
Palestinian control. The Palestinian Department of Antiquities, established
in 1994, took over all archaeological responsibilities in Areas A and B.
The Palestinian adopted the Jordanian Antiquities Law as a temporary law
in since the Palestinian National Authority (PA) lacked laws in various
areas. However, after twenty-five years the Palestinian amend the Jordanian
Antiquities Law, due to the invalidity of many of its provisions, especially
with regard to the clause of penalties, punishments and setting the legal
framework to protect the Palestinian heritage. Lastly, there was also a sense
of urgency to protect local heritage in the face of Israeli expansion in the
West Bank.
In 2018 The teams of the MoTA with technical and financial support from
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
(UNESCO) and Swedish Government proposed a new version of the
Decree Law no. 11/2018 on Tangible Cultural Heritage in Palestine (No.
11/2018). The Law entered into force, after it was signed by President
Mahmoud Abbas and published on the official gazette in April 2018. It
provides a comprehensive set of provisions on the protection, management,
and promotion of Palestinian tangible cultural heritage. The following is the
translated Law by the researchers.

مجلة منبر التراث الأثري
جامعة أبي بكر بلقادي تلمسان
Publisher Country
Publication Type
Both (Printed and Online)