News Column

The State of Palestine list Battir as World Heritage Cultural Landscape

June 22, 2014

BETHLEHEM, June 21, 2014 (WAFA)

- The State of Palestine listed Battir as World Heritage Cultural Landscape

during the 38th session of the World Heritage Committee in Doha, Qatar, said a

statement by Ministry of Tourism & Antiquities on Friday.



The state of Palestine had

submitted the site of Battir as an 'Emergency Nomination' based on current

plans by the Israeli government to expand the illegal Annexation Wall through

the heart of Battir putting the integrity of the site in jeopardy



Rula Ma'ayah, Minister of Tourism

and Antiquities, stated the importance of this third UNESCO recognition of a

site in the State of Palestine, after East Jerusalem and the Nativity and

Pilgrims Way in Bethlehem, as it is in the line of the Ministry of Tourism and

Antiquities strategy to preserve Palestinian cultural and natural heritage

sites and grow tourism development into those areas. 



Ma'ayah described Battir as a

symbol of Palestinian's attachment to the land and the Olive Tree.

 She stressed the uniqueness

of Battir, a town that was on the Roman route from Gaza to Jerusalem, with

terraces bearing witness to thousands of years of human activity with a

continuous human presence around the springs from at least the Bronze Age (over

4,000 years). The terraces, irrigation system, and pools were an important

milestone in agricultural activity of the area and have been in continuous use

since Roman times. 



The statement said, 'the

UNESCO vote confirms the Outstanding Universal Significance of the site, the

terrace system, and its globally unique traditional water-sharing system that

is still preserved today.'



It is among the very best

examples of this type of terraced landscape, and rich with archaeological

remains from throughout the historical record, said the statement. 



Battir is part of a long list of

Palestinian Heritage Sites threatened by Israeli colonization policies in need

of urgent international intervention, the statement concluded. 




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Source: Palestine News Agency (WAFA)

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