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Israel’s Highest Court Will Rule on Fate of Roman Terraces

Thursday, January 30, 2014


BATTIR, WEST BANK—The 2,000-year-old agricultural terraces of the Palestinian village of Battir could be damaged if a separation barrier is built by the government of Israel. Opponents to the plan, including Israeli environmentalists, conservationists, and the local villagers, argue that altering part of the site would damage its integrity and upset the balance of its ancient system of seven springs and a Roman pool. “A country has the right to raise security concerns. It doesn’t have the right to destroy a cultural heritage site. If you can strike a balance in order to protect a potential world heritage site through technology that also safeguards or advances security interests, then the obligation is on the state to do that,” said Gidon Bromberg, Israel director of Friends of the Earth Middle East.