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April 30, 2017

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World Heritage nod for ancient Palestinian village

RAMALLAH, West Bank--The United Nations cultural agency has listed the Palestinian village of Battir as a World Heritage site in danger, raising hopes among residents that this will protect their community against Israel's West Bank separation barrier.

Battir, south of Jerusalem, has ancient farming terraces. In listing Battir on Friday, UNESCO said the village could face "irreversible damage" due to the barrier.

Israel says it is building the barrier to keep out Palestinian militants, while Palestinians say it is a land grab.

The route of the barrier is before Israel's Supreme Court. Battir's lawyer, Ghiath Nasser, said Saturday he hopes the UNESCO vote will help sway the judges.

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