MK Rabbi Amichai Eliyahu (Otzma Yehudit), who will be sworn in as Heritage Minister on Thursday, has conducted his first working tour of Samaria National Park (Sebastia) together with Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan.
During the tour, Dagan and MK Eliyahu visited various key historical sites in the area, which was once the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Israel (as opposed to the Kingdom of Judea) and where pillars dating back to the First Temple period as well as the remains of King Herod's giant theater from the Second Temple period can be found.
Dagan also showed MK Eliyahu the destruction and looting perpetrated by Arab rioters from nearby PA-controlled areas, as well as illegally constructed buildings erected by the PA on the very ruins situated in the national park.
Several months ago, dozens of Palestinians descended on the park in a symbolic takeover of the site. During the incident, the Arabs conducted what they called "renovation," during which they destroyed archeological remains. Additionally, next to the park, the rioters erected a giant flag pole upon which they flew a PLO flag.
"It is an immense privilege for me to begin our tour in this historical place, where Elijah the prophet walked," MK Eliyahu stated. "On the one hand, here I feel a great sense of pride, but on the other hand, it is so painful to see the disgrace of this site being destroyed and looted.
"Here we can see PLO flags, and people are trying to erase our history. I want to stress that a person who is not connected to his past has an impoverished present and a future shrouded in uncertainty, as Yigal Alon said. We need to deepen our connection with our roots, we need to live it, to feel it. We must reverse this disgrace that is happening around us, for our own good and for the good of future generations."