In theory, thousands of historical and archaeological sites in Judea & Samaria are protected by explicit international treaties.
In practice, the Palestinian Authority continues to destroy the physical record of Jewish connection to the Land of Israel.
A few examples of sites the PA has – and continues – to deface and misappropriate:
- Tel Aromah, one of a chain of eight Hasmonean-era fortresses (142- 63 BCE) built by the Maccabean dynasty to protect the Jewish State (2.0) and its heartland, has been “rebranded” as a “Palestinian Heritage Site”. Recently, the PA paved an access road to the site, plowing over a section of the fortress wall and destroying the water cisterns that served the inhabitants of the fortress over 2,000 years ago. The PA also paved over an area at the top of the ridge in order to install a massive Palestinian flag and set up tents that are manned 24/7 to facilitate the Palestinian presence at the site.
- The ancient altar at Mount Ebal (Tel El-Burnat), which dates back to 1250 BCE, is identified as the altar constructed by Joshua. It’s the first site of cultic practice and institutionalized Jewish worship in the Land of Israel. Due to its historic, scientific, symbolic and religious significance, Palestinians declared war on the site, which is now presented as a “Palestinian Heritage Site”.
- Sebastia, the Arab name for Shomron (Samaria), was the capital city of the northern Israelite kingdom founded in the 9th century BCE. Sebastia was recently inaugurated as an official Palestinian Tourism Site and is open to the public (the UN invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in this “Palestinian Heritage Site”). Local visitors and tourists are exposed to a completely Palestinian narrative, with no mention whatsoever of the Jewish connection to the site or region. No mention is made either of the important Christian links to the site. The Church of St. John the Baptist, a beautiful Byzantine-era structure said to be the burial place of the apostle’s head, has been defaced and lies in ruins.
- Archilais was a city in the Hasmonean Era, named for Herod Archilaus, who came to power after the death of his father Herod the Great in 4 BCE. Today, the city is nothing more than a pile of indistinct rubble, reduced beyond recognition by incessant, massive and brutal “reclamation”.
- Vandalism and damage at the ancient synagogue at Samu’a often bear a blatant antisemitic slant. Israeli scientists, worshipers, tourists, inspectors, etc are rarely able to access the site, requiring complicated security arrangements.
For more information, read Regavim’s Naomi Kahn’s article here: http://me2.do/xIJ6SXnt