MK Oded Forer and Yossi Dagan at the altar
MK Oded Forer and Yossi Dagan at the altarRoi Hadai

In recent months, the Palestinian Authority has paved a new road near the altar of the Biblical Prophet Joshua on Mount Ebal, north of the city of Nablus (Shechem) in Samaria.

The road is intended to connect the village of Atzira a-Shamalia and the city of Nablus. In response to an urgent question on the subject submitted by MK Michal Shir in the Knesset about two months ago, Minister in the Defense Ministry Michael Biton replied that the works were approved by the Civil Administration and that there was no damage to the archeological site.

The 'Shomrin al Hanetzach' (preservers of eternity) organization has documented that in recent weeks the Palestinian Authority has carried out work with heavy machinery that has breached the site.

Stones making up one side of an ancient fence were crushed using a gravel crusher to serve as a substrate for the new road. The PA is operating unhindered due to the site's location in Area B.

The physical damage to the site is a direct continuation of the attitude PA's attitude towards the site over the years, who set themselves the goal of suppressing the Israeli presence and visits to the site. According to PA officials, identifying the site as a Jewish altar is a falsification of Palestinian history which they are working to combat. In the video, it can be seen that the stone was crushed knowingly and intentionally.

Samaria Regional Council chairman Yossi Dagan called on the authorities to immediately stop the destruction of the archaeological site. "This is a direct and unfortunate continuation of the contempt of all concerned regarding the historic sites of the Jewish people and the State of Israel," said Dagan. "From the National Park of Ancient Samaria through Tel Aroma to the altar of Joshua son of Nun, it is shocking to see how the Palestinian Authority brazenly destroys the archeological sites dear to all mankind."

"I am shocked to see that those who are supposed to be protecting this place are behaving with appalling helplessness, from the political echelons to the superiors in the field, to the point of criminal neglect, the consequences of which are before us," Dagan added.

The chairman of the "Religious Zionism" party, MK Bezalel Smotrich, responded to the destruction: "An insane failure with irreversible results. Religious Zionism will demand the closure of the Civil Administration, as this is another of its many failures, and the transfer of responsibility for the management of the territory in Judea and Samaria to the government ministries directly. De facto sovereignty."