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PA Seeks UNESCO Protection for Threatened Village

Jan. 25, 2013 | Al-Monitor

Battir, a small Palestinian village unique for its ancient stone terraces, springs and irrigation systems, is under threat as Israel plans to expand the separation barrier through the landscape.

BATTIR, WEST BANK - The village is located on the so-called Green Line from the armistice agreement after the war in 1948, and over half of the Battiri people’s fields are located on the Israeli side. The villagers argue that the barrier will damage the area and cut them off from their fields and sources of income. Now the Palestinian Authority is preparing an application to UNESCO, hoping to get the area added to its World Heritage list and thereby save the historical landscape.

“Battir was a Roman city. Before that, the Canaanites used to settle here,” said Hassan Muamer from the Battir Eco-Museum, talking to Al-Monitor in Battir, surrounded by lettuce and squash plants and avocado trees.

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