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Palestinians seek UN heritage status for ancient village
Published Monday 17/02/2014 (updated) 04/03/2014 16:13
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JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Palestinian officials have filed an urgent request with UNESCO to receive World Heritage status for a West Bank village whose ancient terraces are under threat from the Israeli separation barrier.

The request to put the agricultural community of Battir on the UN cultural agency's list of protected sites was filed earlier this month, a village official said on Sunday.

"We applied 15 days ago and we heard today that they have accepted (to consider) our application," said Mahmud Abu Arab, a member of Battir's village council.

"They will send a delegation to check the area," he told AFP, without saying when the visit would take place.

Battir was added to UNESCO's tentative list in 2012, and the UN body will vote on the application to upgrade its status in June.

Battir, which straddles the Green Line just south of Jerusalem, is famous for its ancient terraces and Roman-era irrigation system which is still used by the villagers for their crops.

But the village has come under threat from Israeli plans to erect part of the West Bank separation barrier there, which experts say will irretrievably damage the water system.

The Palestinians won membership in UNESCO in October 2011 and quickly moved to submit a number of sites for recognition, including an emergency application for Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity which was approved in June the following year, despite Israeli objections.

Battir residents are currently locked in a high-profile court battle to change the route of the barrier, which is being led by Friends of the Earth Middle East and supported by Israel's Nature and Parks Authority.
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1 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
18/02/2014 10:23
Notice the cooperation and normalization going on here! Batir is working with the Israeli Supreme Court and is supported by nothing less than Israel's Nature and Parks Authority - which is headed by a SETTLER !!! Peace will come and we hope to live in harmony with our Palestinian neighbors, including Batir (which is a great place to visit - very friendly people and a couple of cute B&Bs and restaurants! Yes, of course I've visited there myself!).

2 ) Rabiah / Gaza, Ps
18/02/2014 21:52
Brian has been everywhere, except to Mohammed Assaf concerts, why is that I wonder?

3 ) Colin Wright / USA
18/02/2014 22:48
To Brian Cohen #1: 'Notice the cooperation and normalization going on here! Batir is working with the Israeli Supreme Court and is supported by nothing less than Israel's Nature and Parks Authority - which is headed by a SETTLER !!! ' Actually, the article notes that Israel is planning to build a wall across it. You can bet that Israel will oppose the application for World Heritage status as well. You know that, Brain -- why do you pretend otherwise?

4 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
18/02/2014 23:32
Rabbiah - I wanted to go but I couldn't get into Bethlehem when he was there.

5 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
18/02/2014 23:36
Colin -it's a fact he courts here often work in favor of the Pals. You pretend that you are from the "land of the free and the home of the brave". Colin-bottom line is you are a Yank. You slaughtered the savages and stole their land. Now you pontificate your phony holier-than-thou and pretend that the native Americans love being subservient 2nd class citizens under your boots. You'll only have morals when the last indian reservation is closed and you give them the choice of taking your home.

6 ) Colin Wright / USA
20/02/2014 10:33
To Brain Cohen #5: 'Colin -it's a fact he...' You are aware your posts are an incoherent mixture of falsehoods and irrelevancies? Can you explain how you think they actually aid the Zionist cause?

7 ) Colin Wright / USA
20/02/2014 10:37
To Brian Cohen #5: ' Colin-bottom line is you are a Yank. You slaughtered the savages and stole their land. ' That was then. This is now. Currently my most serious crime is that I'm part of a nation that supports Israel.

8 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
22/02/2014 12:45
So, Colin. Please tell me what in my postings above are "falsehoods". And what's with the "that was then this is now" baloney? By that logic, Israel has legal title to the west bank because this is now. Or by your logic, just how much longer do we have to wait before the past is irrelevant. How much longer, Colin? A year? 10 years? 100 years? There are many here who are happy to wait until your conditions for "this is now" are met. You certainly appear to be the one spouting irrelevancies.

9 ) Rami / Palestine
23/02/2014 14:15
#5 You know Brian, you shouldn't point your finger at the violations of someone else's country if you don't want the violations of your own country brought forth. He's a Yank but you're a Zionist and you have no problem taking military aid from the country of said "Yank" in order to maintain your ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, do you? Nope, I thought not. Funny you talk of "2nd class citizens" what do you consider Palestinians living in Israel? 20th class? If anyone is full of B.S. its you.

10 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
24/02/2014 20:24
Rami - I am pointing my finger directly at you to take back your false accusation of "ethnic cleansing". There is none. It does not exist. Here is the proof from your own Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics: http://www.pcbs.gov.ps/Portals/_Rainbow/Documents/gover_e.htm Ethnic cleansing means you get rid of people. Look at the facts: THERE ARE MORE PALESTINIANS UNDER ISRAELI RULE THAN EVERY BEFORE IN HISTORY. There is no ethnic cleansing. It's a lie. Are you willing to stop your own B.S.?

11 ) ian / australia
25/02/2014 13:05
#1 "Notice the cooperation and normalization going on here!" If I was a Palestinian from Battir and found out that Evyatar Cohen (ex-Elad, Jerusalem District NPA director and settler) was on MY side contesting the proposed route of the Ministry of Defense's wall in the Supreme Court I'd be worried... because it means ONE thing: Israel has its sights on Battir. It seems to me Battir has next to no chance of ending up in Palestine: it's a pristine Roman heritage site; it straddles the Green Line,

12 ) ian / australia
25/02/2014 13:06
(contd.) the village in Palestine, agricultural land in Israel; it's surrounded by major settlements (Gilo, Har Homa, Betar Illit etc. a great bloc which Israel insists on keeping) AND it's a Jewish historical site (the Bar Kokhba revolt). So really...with Evyatar Cohen on board fighting to PROTECT the integrity of Battir, what chance does it have? (He's hardly planning to save it to give it away.) And given his track record with Elad, what seems more than likely, is some kind of Bar Kokhba

13 ) ian / australia
25/02/2014 13:06
(contd.) based theme park, like the City of David, a shameless propaganda piece carved out of Arab Silwan...with ALL with fixin's. And I don't think Israel is much perturbed by the Palestinian UNESCO bid. If it succeeds, the site is protected and they can simply declare that it's of JEWISH significance and part of Israel. They've had 66 years practice at stuff like that...and dozens of nifty ways to pull it off. It's down to a fine art.

14 ) Colin Wright / USA
27/02/2014 22:01
To Brian Cohen #10: 'Rami - I am pointing my finger directly at you to take back your false accusation of "ethnic cleansing". There is none. It does not exist...' Lol. Good one, Brain.

15 ) Colin Wright / USA
27/02/2014 22:03
To Brian Cohen #8: 'So, Colin. Please tell me what in my postings above are "falsehoods". And what's with the "that was then this is now"...' Now Brain, you know perfectly well that if anyone presents you with a compelling argument, you just ignore it. So what's the point in my bothering?

16 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
02/03/2014 11:03
I rest my case. Colin has never been to the area, has no idea what he is talking about, and is incapable of refuting any of the facts I stated. Colin. You are the perfect example of what Israelis and Palestinians both call foreign meddlers. Instead of your inability to refute facts, why don't you present your facts about the alleged "ethnic cleansing"? I already know that you won't. Because you can't. It doesn't exists and all you will do is come up with a non-sequitor.

17 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
02/03/2014 21:07
And the bottom line is, of course, that this town should indeed get recognized by UNESCO as a heritage site - not because the barrier will affect the terraces. The wall should NOT be built (I thoroughly agree with the town), but the wall path is just beyond where the terraces end. As well, Fatah, Hamas and IJ should explicitly declare an end to armed hostilities and use Batir as their model - no barrier in return for no attacks. Sadly, Hamas and IJ would never agree to this.

18 ) ian / australia
04/03/2014 22:16
#17 Kind of fuzzy on borders and sovereignty, Brian (which is surely the REAL bottom line). If you think the integrity of Battir SHOULD be preserved and the wall "should NOT be built" (and you "thoroughly agree with the town") and Battir SHOULD be "recognized by UNESCO as a heritage site" for Israelis to visit and stay in cute B&Bs among the friendly people...I assume you see it as being part of Israel. So what you're expressing is not concern for the heritage site but the greedy Israeli impulse

19 ) ian / australia
04/03/2014 22:18
(contd.) to eat away at the edges of the West Bank, absorbing everything of value (the Old City, E1, Jordan Valley) leaving Palestinians the fragmentary, bisected remnant, stripped of THEIR heritage, to build a state (with a capital in Abu Dis or Beit Hanina). Or am I wrong? And I'd add when you switch to "sunny" mode and talk about people shopping together in WB malls and eating knafeh and how Israelis want two states (and I'm often sucked in because I LIKE sunny) alarm bells go off.

20 ) ian / australia
04/03/2014 22:28
(contd.) Because under the surface is the same old land grab mentality...the same hard-wired impulse to screw Palestinians out of much as possible, including Battir.

21 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
12/03/2014 11:36
Excuse us, Ian, but "land grab mentality"??? Are you serious when you say that? You are in Australia, a country founded and whose existence is the definition of land grab mentality. You are in a country that grabbed an entire continent from its rightful owners, and you expect anybody to believe you when you start blathering on in your oh-so-self-righteous way? Good grief. Get a life, kiddo. Yes, I believe Batir should be part of Palestine. So yes, you are indeed wrong. On just about everything,

22 ) ian / australia
14/03/2014 22:33
#21 "...I believe Batir should be part of Palestine. So yes, you are indeed wrong. On just about everything" And glad to be, Brian. I assume you think Battir shouldn't be in Israel because it's culturally Arab and legally beyond the '67 line, making it occupied Palestinian territory. And I agree. So what about al-Haram ash-Sharif? IT'S culturally Arab and outside the Green Line. Should it be part of Palestine too? For the same reasons Battir should? I think so. (Also Palestinian neighbourhoods

23 ) ian / australia
14/03/2014 22:34
(contd.) like Sheikh Jarrah, Wadi al-Joz and Silwan for the same reason). How about you?

24 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
17/03/2014 18:01
Hello Ian...Australian land grabber.

25 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
23/03/2014 11:49
My point to Ian is that Australia is a colony founded on a massive land grab - the entire continent was illegally stolen from the Aborigines. Ian has avoided the very cogent point that he and his country are the very definition of "land grab". Israel has never annexed the west bank or Gaza, and is negotiating to have a two-state solution. This is something that Ian and Australia never did. Ditto for America. Strange that he should be preaching to me from his occupied colony down under.
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