Arab Damage to Israeli Archaeological Site Leads to No Arrests
On Tuesday, March 13, an archeological site inspector in Hebron’s Old City discovered that the archaeological site there had been severely damaged; the diggings in progress were ruined and covered up.
A group of Arab workers, apparently contracted by the Palestinian Authority, breached an ancient terrace bordering the antique path that connects Abraham’s Well and the tombs of Ruth and Yishai. They further removed a fence near an IDF outpost and brought trash, dumping it in the archaeological diggings, which contain findings from the Canaanite period. They then set fire to the trash.
This destructive process was stopped only after the inspector called the police, the army and the Civil Administration. Surprisingly, the vandals were not arrested and were allowed to continue with their work, receiving only a warning about further damaging the archeological artifacts around them.
It is significant to note that this is not the first time Arabs have been engaged in the destruction of archeological artifacts in Hebron. They have previously perpetrated similar acts of vandalism, but have recently begun to work in an organized fashion, leading to the conclusion that these acts are purposeful and orchestrated by an entity bent on the erasure of these archeological artifacts, which testify to the ancient Jewish roots in Hebron.
Chaim Bleicher, a resident of Hebron, told Tazpit that they have been doing their best to combat these trends. The army and Civil Administration have made no real attempts to halt these actions, and it has been reported that the army intends to close off part of the archaeological site to eliminate friction, working only to maintain the peace, even if it means the irreplaceable loss of archeological artifacts and the cover up of Hebron’s Jewish identity.
Similar incidents have been recorded throughout Israel, especially in Jerusalem and on the Temple Mount. The Arabs are aware that the archaeological findings point to an ancient and prolonged Jewish presence in the Land of Israel.