The cultural arm of the United Nations took the unusual decision to hold the vote - which resulted in a 12-3 outcome with six abstentions - in secret.
A committee of the UN's cultural arm voted 12 to three - with six abstentions - to give heritage status to Hebron's Old City.
By listing sites on its World Heritage in Danger list, UNESCO seeks to mobilise the worldwide community to protect them. And in 2012, the United Nations General Assembly chose to upgrade the status of Palestine to a nonmember observer state of the United Nations.
But after their effort failed, Israeli leaders reasserted Israel's claim to the occupied West Bank.
"We should thwart all attempts promoting an alternative homeland and we will never accept any alternative of Palestine", he said in his maiden speech as head of Hamas, which was made available to Bernama by the Palestinian Cultural Organisation Malaysia (PCOM).
"We call upon the government of Israel to issue an appropriate answer to this reprehensible decision: to immediately suspend all payments to UNESCO and transfer those very same funds for projects that will strengthen Jewish Hebron", said Yishai Fleisher, global spokesman for the Hebron Jewish Community, in a statement provided to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
"Nothing is more disgraceful than UNESCO declaring the world's only Jewish state the "occupier" of the Western Wall and Jerusalem's Old City", said Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon. He went on to list the names of biblical figures that Jews believe are buried there.
"The @UNESCO decision on Hebron & Tomb of Patriarchs is a moral blot".
Netanyahu - as Israeli officials always do - conflated Judaism with Israeli control. This was one of the points on which its decision was based.
"The connection between the Jewish People and Hebron and the Tomb of the Patriarchs is one of purchase and of history which may be without parallel in the history of peoples", he said.
"The entire world will see the truth and the first visitors whom I will invite there will be UNESCO and United Nations delegations", he said of the Kedem Visitors Center. "It can only be something that can be felt, something we can fight for".
The membership of this year's Heritage committee includes five countries with which Israel does not have diplomatic ties, and a number of others that routinely support pro-Palestinian resolutions.
Predictably, Israeli officials have tried to spin the worldwide rebuff of their transparent efforts to assert sovereignty over occupied territory as discrimination.
Lieberman urged the United States to help ensure that UNESCO is "defunded".