Makhrour is an area of scenic hills and valleys that is part of the Quds Key biodiversity area. It is located in the Bethlehem Governate, between the towns of Hussan, Battir, al-Walajah, and Beit Jala. It has been designated Area C, and is thus under Israeli civil and military control. Together with Wadi Husan and Wadi Ahmed (Cremisan valley), Makhrour is part of a unique ecosystem of Mediterranean forested and marquis habitats with water springs. This falls in the Mediterranean biogeographical zone and is an essential part of the hydrological system that replenishes the West Bank’s western aquifer. It is one of thirteen Important Bird Areas in Palestine (Birdlife International, 2021), an Important Plant Area (Radford et al., 2011), and was designated a Key Biodiversity Area by the Palestine Environment Quality Authority (EQA). A 2017 UNESCO State of Conservation report found Makhrour to be under several threats, including (1) changes in traditional ways of life and knowledge systems, (2) changes in local population and community identity and social cohesion; (3) invasive/alien terrestrial species; and (4) the potential construction of a separation wall. ( A popular place for hiking and sunset watching, Makhrour is home to a 5 km walking trail, restaurants, and an annual Makhrour festival.

Find out more about this newly designated protected area