Palestinian Authority roadwork destroyed portions of a 3,200-year-old wall that belonged to the biblical site of Joshua’s altar on Mount Ebal, according to the right-wing NGO Shomrim al Hanetzach.
The area near the Palestinian city of Nablus, also known by the biblical name of Shechem, is located in Area B of the West Bank, and therefore the site falls under the auspices of the PA, and as such the Civil Administration has no oversight, its representative explained.
Shomrim al Hanetzach reported that Palestinian workers had ground ancient stone from the site’s exterior wall into gravel to pave the road as well as made use of stones from within the site itself.
The altar remains intact, but Shomrim al Hanetzach, which focuses on the preservation of Jewish archaeology said it fears additional damage to the site could still occur.
It pointed to a pledge by Strategic Affairs Minister Michael Biton (Blue and White), who is also a minister in the Defense Ministry, that no harm would come to the site as a result of the roadwork.
News of the destruction caused an immediate outcry among right-wing politicians.
Religious Zionist Party head MK Bezalel Smotrich called the destruction an “insane failure” whose “results are irreversible.”
Once in the government his party will demand the closure of the Civil Administration, which governs civilian life in Area C of the West Bank. Civilian affairs in Judea and Samaria should be dealt with directly by various ministries, he said, adding that such a move would be a form of de facto sovereignty.
MK Matan Kahana said that the destruction was ...