Palestinian Authority crushes ancient Jewish site for gravel to pave road

“Crushing thousands of years of cultural assets into gravel is an extremely unacceptable act,” said the director of “Preserving the Eternal.”

By David Isaac, World Israel News 

The Palestinian Authority is using stones from an ancient Jewish site to help build a road connecting an Arab village to the city of Nablus, or Shechem, website N12 reports on Wednesday.

In a video obtained by N12, Arab workers can be heard saying they are destroying part of the site of Joshua’s Altar located on Mount Ebal which forms the northern side of the valley in which Shechem is located, and using it for gravel to make the road.

As the site is located in Area B of Judea and Samaria, Israel’s Civil Administration says it can do nothing about it, the website reports.

The danger to the site has been a cause for concern, N12 notes. Two months ago, Knesset Member Michal Shir of the Likud submitted an urgent question about the preservation of the site against PA depredations. Michael Biton, Minister in the Ministry of Defense, reassured her that the PA’s work had been approved and there was no damage to the archeological site.

Guy Derech, director of “Preserving the Eternal,” an NGO dedicated to safeguarding lands for the Jewish people, said “the site of the altar is one of the most important sites in our country and of special importance to the heritage of the Jewish people.

“Crushing thousands of years of cultural assets into gravel is an extremely unacceptable act,” he said.

“The Palestinian Authority is using its powers to damage archeological sites, and Israel is not lifting a finger at preserving its national and world heritage. We call on the prime minister and ministers of the government to stop burying their heads in the sand and start working before there is no more heritage left here,” he added.

Head of the Samaria Regional Council, Yossi Dagan, demanded the IDF act to stop the destruction immediately.

“This is a direct and unfortunate continuation of the contempt of all concerned regarding the historical sites of the Jewish people and the State of Israel,” Dagan said. “It is shocking to see how the Palestinian Authority is crudely destroying the archeological sites that are dear to all of humanity.”

The Palestinian Authority has a history of destroying Jewish archaeological sites in an effort to erase Jewish ties to the land. It is continuing a “tradition” begun by Jordan, which destroyed Jewish sites when it controlled Judea and Samaria and part of Jerusalem between 1948 and 1967.

Some archaeologists speculate that the site in question, known as Joshua’s Altar, or the Altar of Mount Ebal, is the one mentioned in the Book of Joshua, which he built after the battle of Ai. It is also conjectured that it is the altar the Hebrews were commanded to build in Deuteronomy 27 before they heard the blessing and the curse.

As it’s written in Deuteronomy 27: “Build the altar of the Lord your God with fieldstones and offer burnt offerings on it to the Lord your God.”

There is little dispute that it is an ancient Jewish altar as an examination of the bones at the site revealed that only kosher animals were sacrificed there. The altar dates from the last quarter of the 13th century B.C.E.