Palestinians pave new road above an archaeological site in the northern West Bank

AJN Agency.- The Palestinian Authority paved a new road through an archaeological site in Sebastia, in the northern West Bank, right-wing activists warned on Tuesday.

The Sebastia City Council released a video on Monday night showing construction work on the road that indicates it leads from the northern area of ​​Sebastia to the entrance of an ancient Roman hippodrome.

Sebastia is a site of constant bickering and clashes between Israelis and Palestinians, with right-wing activists warning of years of damage done to archaeological sites and Palestinians opposing Israeli entry to the site.

A photo released by the municipality over the weekend showed Palestinian flags placed at an archaeological site in Sebastia with the caption “They stay here.”

The organization Protect Eternity, along with patrolmen from the Samaria and Kedumim Regional Council Land Department, found heavy construction equipment working to pave a road on a route through an archaeological site in Areas B and C. Area B it is administered by the Palestinian Authority and Israel, while Area C is administered by Israel.

During works on the road, a Herodian-era wall was destroyed and burial caves from the Second Temple period were raided and looted, according to the organization. The organization claimed that Palestinian activists dumped pig carcasses in ancient graves.

The head of the Samaria Regional Council, Yossi Dagan, called on the government to halt the work, warning that “an attempt is being made here to completely disconnect the State of Israel and the Jewish people from one of their most important and precious heritage sites: a remnant of the ancient Kingdom of Israel.

“This is a shame and a destruction of Jewish history right under the nose of the State of Israel. All Israelis and all culture lovers should demand that any damage to the site be stopped immediately. 24/7 military security must be immediately established on site to protect a world heritage site that is being barbarically and systematically destroyed day after day by the terrorist Palestinian Authority.”

Moshe Gutman, president of Protect Eternity, emphasized that “we are losing ancient Samaria.”

“The destruction continued for more than a month without a real reaction, without the arrest of any of the perpetrators of the destruction in the Authority and the Sebastia Municipality. And now there is also a desecration of graves”, added Gutman. “The government of Israel must respond immediately and forcefully, just as it would have responded if a bulldozer entered Caesarea National Park or if Iran had obliterated the tomb of Mordechai and Esther. Don’t shut up!”

“The Palestinian Authority continues its horrendous attempt to erase Israel’s rich biblical history,” said lawmaker Dan Illouz. “We will stop this atrocity and we will not allow them to destroy our past. Their fear of our history only highlights our eternal right to our land.”

On Tuesday afternoon, Environmental Protection Minister Idit Silman and Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu visited Sebasita with Dagan and said they would promote a government decision to develop the site.

“The Palestinian Authority works systematically to destroy the archaeological remains that testify to the deep and historical connection of the People of Israel with their country,” they said. “The severe damage to the National Park and beyond in recent years and the removal of the remnants of the capital of Samaria and one of the most important sites in the history of the Jewish people is the removal of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The war for Sebastia is also the war for Tel Aviv.”

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