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Battir is identified with the Jewish town of Beitar, which was a stronghold during the 2nd century Bar Kokhba revolt against Roman rule in Judea. Located on a steep hill to the west of Battir, the remains of the ancient town are known today as Khirbet al-Yahud, Arabic for "ruin of the Jews."

In modern times, Battir's development was linked to its location alongside the railroad to Jerusalem, which provided both access to the city's opportunities as well as direct income from passengers who would disembark when the locomotives stopped to take on water[1]. After the 1948 war, Israel controlled all of modernday Israel with the West Bank and Gaza outside its borders. The border, known as the Green Line, fell along the Battir railroad and Battir ended up just meters within Jordan's border. After the 1967 War, Battir became occupied by Israel along with the rest of the West Bank. However, the UN adopted United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 calling on Israel to withdraw from the territories occupied in the 1967 war, which has yet to be implemented. Since the 1995 signing of the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, it has been administered by the Palestinian Authority.

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