Palestinians are asking a U.N. agency to designate parts of biblical Bethlehem as endangered world heritage sites.
Letters were sent to the global cultural organization UNESCO, saying the international community has a "legal and moral responsibility" to the sites.
Palestinians want recognition for the Church of the Nativity and a Bethlehem pilgrimage route, but UNESCO turned down the bid, saying it needs more work.
Some Israeli government officials have contended that the Palestinians' request is an effort to wipe out traces of Jewish history.
Christian denominations are opposed as well. A decision on the matter is expected this week.