Battir is a Palestinian village in Bethlehem Governorate located 6.4km NW of Bethlehem City. Battir is bordered by Beit Jala town and Al Walaja village to the east, Husan village to the west, Husan and Al Khader to the south, and the 1949 Armistice Line (the Green Line) to the north. The Israeli settlement of Betar Illit (Upper Betar) was built just to the west of Battir. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), the total population of Battir in 2007 was 3,967. There are 798 households living in 981 housing units.
After the 1948 war, the armistance line fell along the railroad, and Battir ended up just meters to the east of Jordan's border with Israel. After the 1967 War, Battir passed to Israeli control along with the rest of the West Bank, though since the 1995 signing of the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, it has been administered by the Palestinian Authority.
Impact of the Israeli Occupation
According to Oslo Interim Agreement, signed in September 1995, between the Palestinian National Authority and the Israeli government, Battir lands were classified into areas B and C; 1610 dunums of which (23.7 percent of the total area of the village) were classified as area B, in which public order falls under the Palestinian National Authority's responsibility, where Israeli has full control over security matters. As for the remaining part of Battir lands, 5185 dunums (76.3%) were classified as area C, an area that is under full control of the Israeli government. Since Israeli has control of this land, Palestinians are prevented from construction or benefiting from this land in any way possible, unless they get permission, which is extremely difficult, from the Israeli civilian administration in Bethlehem. Moreover, area C includes agricultural land, open areas, and small urban areas
Land classification in Battir according to Oslo II Agreement in 1995 Land Classification Area in dunums Pct of Total village area Area A 0 0 Area B 1,610 23.7 Area C 5,185 76.3 Total 6,795 100 Source: ARIJ-GIS Unit, 2009
The Segregation Wall
The Israeli racist discrimination plan, represented mainly by the construction of the Segregation Wall, put Battir and the rest of the villages west of Bethlehem city (Husan, Al Walaja, Nahhalin, Wadi Fukin, Al Jab'a, Khallet Afana, Khallet Al Balluta, and Beit Sakariya) in isolation form the big cities and centers in Bethlehem governorate (Bethlehem, Beit Jala, Beit Sahour, Al Khadr, and Ad Doha). Thus, the citizens are deprived from accessing many services that exist only in city centers like police, fire stations, ambulance, hospitals, health centers, and universities, etc. According to the updated Segregation Wall plan published on the web page of the Israeli Ministry of Defense on April 30, 2007; the Segregation Wall will extend for 2km on Battir lands; thus isolating 6683 dunums of the village agricultural lands, forests and open spaces.
Previous Israeli Military Orders in Battir
Battir residents received many Israeli Military orders aimed at seizing Battir's lands for various Israeli purposes. The orders are:
- On 24/04/2004, Battir and Husan villages received order number 31/04/T which confiscates 4.6 dunum to build the Segregation Wall in the east side of both villages.
- On 1/05/2005, Battir, Husan, Wadi Fukin, and Al Walaja villages received order number 86/05/T which confiscates 766.6 dunums to build the Segregation Wall in the villages.
- On 21/10/2005, Battir, Al Kader, and Beit Jala received order number 210/05/T which confiscates 85 dunums to build Al Khadr crossing.
- On 7/02/2007, Battir received order number 69-06 which confiscates 22 dunums to build the Segregation Wall in Battir. The village is also constantly exposed to the establishment of mobile checkpoints and earth mounds around it
Israeli Bypass Roads in Battir
The two Israeli bypass roads no. 375 and no. 436 cut through Battir village lands by 0.5km length.
The principal families of the village: Uweina, Batma. Batha, Kttoush, Mashni, Abu Ebeid Allah, Abu Ni'ma, and Mu'ammar.
- ARIJ town profile
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