Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:58PM
Israel is planning to build a wall that will divide a village in Bethlehem as well as destroy 3,000-year-old Roman ruins in the area. Villagers are fighting a legal battle with Tel Aviv. They say Israel’s argument that it needs the wall for security reasons is baseless.
Israel has given an order to build part of the separation wall in the village of Batir, in the South of Bethlehem. Batir is famous in Palestine for it’s Roman Ruins and Roman irrigation system which is still in use today. As a mainly agricultural village, Batir won an award from UNESCO for it’s management of the land, and will join UNESCO as a world heritage site next year. However the wall threatens to destroy the Roman heritage and farm land. The Mayer took the Israeli’s to an Israeli court to complain about the order. Israel stated it was for security reasons as they have a train line running directly through the village, however residents state that there has never been trouble and they have allowed the train to pass through their land. Residents of the village further state that there was an agreement in 1948 between Israel and Jordan that allowed Palestinian farmers to cultivate the land either side of the railway. Israel will break this agreement if they go ahead with the new build. As the residents explained the wall is going to cut through this area breaking up the farmers terraces, destroying nature but most importantly they will destroy ancient UNESCO sites.