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UNESCO to weigh listing Palestinian site on World Heritage list

Terraced agricultural fields are seen in Battir village, south of Jerusalem, Dec. 12, 2012. (Reuters)

Source : Al Arabiya / 17 Feb 2014

UNESCO has agreed to a Palestinian request to include the ancient agricultural terraces of the West Bank village of Battir on a list of sites to be reviewed and voted on for a place on the World Heritage list in June.

The World Heritage Committee is expected to meet in Doha, Qatar, from June 15 to 25 to review a list of 41 worldwide sites to decide whether or not they qualify for entry onto the World Heritage list.

According to UNESCO spokesman Roni Amelan, Battir was included under an emergency procedure designated for endangered places.

If approved, Battir would be the second site, after the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, to be registered as being in Palestine after UNESCO agreed to recognize it as a state in 2011.

UNESCO experts are expected to travel to Battir to view the site as part of the application process.

The agricultural terraces, which date back 2,000 years to the Roman era, are on land that Israel plans to use for a security barrier. If the site receives a spot on the heritage list, Israeli authorities will be barred from building on the land.

A group of 21 countries will vote to decide which sites make it to the World Heritage list, including Algeria, Colombia, Croatia, Finland, Germany, India, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Senegal, Serbia, Turkey and Viet Nam.

 

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