Yossi Dagan at the altar of Joshua
Yossi Dagan at the altar of JoshuaRoi Hadi

Shomron Regional Council head Yossi Dagan addressed Interior Minister Aryeh Deri and Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel, requesting that the altar of Yehoshua Ben-Nun be declared a national park.

About a week ago, the Palestinian Authority vandalized the site and demolished parts of the wall surrounding the altar to make gravel. The Samaria Regional Council launched a blitz operation to rehabilitate the site.

Dagan said the Palestinian Authority not only does not protect the historic sites in Area B, but that it works to deliberately damage them, in contrast to 5 international conventions for the protection of heritage and cultural sites around the world, conventions signed by the State of Israel.

"The State of Israel is committed to protecting these and similar sites both to preserve the historical sites that are important to the people of Israel and to protect the cultural heritage of all mankind. Just as the State of Israel intervened and enforced the cessation of air pollution in villages sitting in Area B on the understanding that where the Palestinian Authority does not act, it should intervene, so here too it is clear that the State of Israel must act immediately to protect heritage sites in Judea and Samaria." Dagan demanded that "the altar of Joshua be declared a national park with all that that implies."

Yamina Chairman and candidate for prime minister Naftali Bennett visited the altar of Joshua Ben-Nun on Mount Eval adjacent to Shechem yesterday (Sunday), together with Shomron Regional Council head Yossi Dagan, and his deputy, David Ben-Tzion.

During his visit to the site, Bennett filmed a message to the international public informing them about the destruction of the reserve by the Palestinian Authority.

"Imagine what would have happened if ISIS had tried to overthrow the Statue of Liberty or the Eiffel Tower, what a bitter cry would have been heard around the world. I am here, in the hills of Samaria, at an ancient Jewish site, one of the oldest Jewish sites ever discovered. A 3,200-year-old site, the altar of Joshua on Mount Eval.

"On this mountain, 3,200 years ago, the Jewish people came out of Egypt, crossed the Jordan River which is right here, came through Shechem, and concentrated here for the last central gathering of the Jewish people before they spread throughout the Land of Israel, building our national home right here," he said.

"A few decades ago, a famous archaeologist named Adam Zertel discovered this altar, and found evidence that it was the original Jewish altar. Unfortunately, a few days ago the Palestinian Authority began dismantling this site.

"It's unbelievable! This is a barbaric act that characterizes only ISIS and other extremist Islamic organizations that want to destroy ancient sites of other peoples. I can tell you now, as Israel's former defense minister: No one can ever touch our Jewish heritage, we will preserve our history to secure our future," said Bennett.

נפתלי בנט במזבח יהושע בן נוןללא קדריט