Friday, March 6, 2015   

Israel caves declared as world heritage
(06-24 14:42)

The United Nations cultural agency designated this week a network of over 2,000 years old, man-made caves outside of Jerusalem a World Heritage site, the eighth such site in Israel.
UNESCO added the caves of Beit Guvrin-Maresha _ known as a "city under a city'' -- to the prestigious list of World Heritage sites during its annual meeting in Qatar on Sunday.
The announcement by the World Heritage Committee came only two days after UNESCO listed the Palestinian village of Battir as a World Heritage site in danger, raising hopes among its residents that this will protect their community against Israel's West Bank separation barrier.
The intricate Beit Guvrin-Maresha caves have been used for thousands of years as quarries, burial sites, storerooms, hideouts and dovecotes. They are comprised of chambers and networks with various functions, and are situated below the ancient twin towns of Maresha and Beit Guvrin.
Israel now boasts a total of eight World Heritage sites, including Masada, the Old City of Acre and the Bahai Holy Shrines in Haifa.
Only countries that have signed the World Heritage convention, pledging to protect their natural and cultural heritage, can nominate a site, which must have an "outstanding universal value'' to qualify.
Battir, located just south of Jerusalem in the West Bank, was chosen earlier by the UNESCO committee after Palestinians submitted the site in an emergency nomination. The famed valley is known for its ancient farming terraces and an irrigation system dating to roman times.
In listing Battir on Friday, UNESCO said the village faces "irreversible damage,'' citing "the start of construction of a separation wall that may isolate farmers from fields they have cultivated for centuries.''
Israel began building a separation barrier in the West Bank more than a decade ago, saying it's meant to keep out Palestinian suicide bombers and other militants. The Palestinians say the barrier has turned out to be a land grab because it slices off almost 10 percent of the West Bank. --AP   
Other World breaking news:
UNESCO decries Islamists destruction of ancient Iraq city as ‘war crime' (1 hr 54 mins ago)
MERS virus kills 10 more Saudis, casualties surpass 400 (1 hr 56 mins ago)
(Paris Fashion Week) Carven: Flower girls (2 hrs 35 mins ago)
(Paris Fashion Week) Peroxide mania (2 hrs 38 mins ago)
Suspected Bangladeshi rapist fatally lynched by Indian mob (2 hrs 51 mins ago)
Marvin Gaye family lawyer decries Pharrell Williams deceit (03-06 11:54)
(Flight MH370) Search provides lessons for future (03-06 11:38)
(Mobile World Congress) Wireless chargers plug into Qi standard (03-06 11:16)
Harrison Ford comes through yet another real life drama (03-06 11:06)
Harrison Ford survives crash landing of vintage plane (03-06 10:57)

More breaking news >>

© 2015 The Standard, The Standard Newspapers Publishing Ltd.
Contact Us | About Us | Newsfeeds | Subscriptions | Print Ad. | Online Ad. | Street Pts

 


Home | Top News | Local | Business | China | ViewPoint | CityTalk | World | Sports | People | Central Station | Spree | Features

The Standard

Trademark and Copyright Notice: Copyright 2015, The Standard Newspaper Publishing Ltd., and its related entities. All rights reserved.  Use in whole or part of this site's content is prohibited.   Use of this Web site assumes acceptance of the
Terms of Use, Privacy Policy Statement and Copyright Policy.  Please also read our Ethics Statement.