Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, the official rabbi of the Western Wall in Jerusalem visited the tombs of Eleazar and Itamar in Awarta on Wednesday. The graves of many Biblical figures are located in Awarta such as Eleazar and Itamar who are the sons of Aaron the High Priest as well as Pinchas, and the 70 Elders. Rabbi Rabinovitch reported finding the tombs vandalized and desecrated.
Rabbi Rabinovitch's visit was conducted under the auspices of Civil Administration head Brigadier General Motti Almoz and other IDF personnel. The rabbi called upon the proper authorities to renovate the sites.
Awarta is today an Arab populated community under the control of the Palestinian Authority. It made headlines in March 2010 when two community members broke into the neighboring Jewish community of Itamar and murdered five members of the Fogel family.
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