Israeli Forces Hand Stop-Construction Notices for 15 Houses in Bethlehem

BETHLEHEM, December 29, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Tuesday handed stop-construction notices for 15 Palestinian-owned houses in Battir, west of Bethlehem in the southern West Bank, under the pretext of unlicensed building, said a municipal source.

WAFA reported on Head of Battir Council, Maher al-Harbuk, as saying that Israeli troops stormed the village and placed stop-construction notices on facades of 15 houses.

Eight homeowners were identified as Fadi al-Qaisi, Fadi ‘Ubaidillah, Ibrahim al-Najjar, Yasser Qattush, Hazim ‘Abdul-Wahhab, Hazim al-Shuli, Muhammad al-Shami and Hamza Hamamda.

Dating back to the Roman and Canaanite eras, Battir is famous for its ancient terraces and Roman-era irrigation system which is still used for crop irrigation.

The irrigation system channels water from natural springs down stone terraces to villagers’ orchards via sluice gates.

The village has come under threat following Israeli plans to build part of the West Bank wall that would cause irretrievable damage to the ancient irrigation system.