Just before the planned grande opening of the altar of Joshua for Passover, an Arabic graffiti tag was sprayed by unknown individuals on the eastern side of the ramp to the altar.
The incident may be linked to a video released by the A-Shmaliya municipality in which the stones of the altar are being ground into gravel for paving. The clip drew a storm of protest, including from the President and Prime Minister of Israel.
Now as part of the effort to preserve the site, which archaeologists believe is the biblical altar of Joshua, where Joshua son of Nun sacrificed to God upon the entry of the people of Israel into the land - Samaria Regional Council has planned to open the area to the public. The archaeological team responsible commented:
"I call on the public, to vote with their feet, to come to the altar of Joshua this coming Monday and make it clear that we do not give on our historical or cultural assets. We will not allow vandalism to destroy this piece of world history."
This Monday, travellers who come to the area will be able to enjoy activities for the whole family, a kite workshop, a race, a spectacular view of the city of Shechem (Nablus), educational tutorials, shaded seating areas and more. The road will be secured all the way by the IDF.