New town to be built on historical site?

Important historical military and Christian site may be devastated by a new plan to build a town over the ruins.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Israelis re-enact the Battle of Hattin at the historic Horns of Hattin site
Israelis re-enact the Battle of Hattin at the historic Horns of Hattin site
Gili Yaari/Flash90

A recently approved development program is threatening the Karnei Hittin (Horns of Hattin) historical site.

Three years ago, the Israeli government decided to establish a new town for the Druze community on the southern slopes of the Horns of Hattin National Park.

Earlier this week, the development program received official approval, threatening the historical site of the Battle of Hattin with devastation.

A group of Israeli citizens, tourist guides, re-enactors, academics, and residents of the Lower Galilee are working to bring to public awareness the devastating implications that the program may have on the important historical site.

On the 4th of July 1187, the Frankish (Crusader) forces suffered a decisive defeat at the hands of the Muslims by the volcanic hill known as the "Horns of Hattin," in the eastern Lower Galilee.

Apart from the famous Battle of Hattin, the fields of Hattin had witnessed other conflicts such as Napoleon's Battle of Nazareth (April 1799) and a battle from the Israeli Independence War (July 1948). The Hattin landscape also attracted human activity of non-violent character: The landscape is rich in archaeological sites and features of different types, from as early as the Middle Paleolithic (250,000- 50,000 before present) to our modern era.

The area where the new city is intended to be built has remained unchanged for over 1800 years. Its landscape includes a Middle Paleolithic flint quarry, and late Bronze age and Iron Age settlements, sanctuaries, and tombs. It also contains an n extensive late Roman road system, a unique field system from the same period as well as a number of industrial and agricultural installations related to it.

The Horns of Hattin is identified by some Christian communities as Mount of Beatitudes, where the "sermon on the Mount" took place. Until the 1930s, most of the Christian pilgrims interested in Mount Beatitudes were directed to the Horns of Hattin and not to the current location.

The battlefield of Hattin is also where the relic of "True Cross" was lost during the Battle of Hattin and never to return to Christian hands. All of these archaeological sites and others give the Hattin landscape its unique character, which is composed of numerous and diverse layers of natural and cultural elements which must be preserved for future generations.

The group of activists, "Save the Horns of Hattin," are organizing a demonstration on Monday evenng, near the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem.