PA systematically demolishing Hasmonean dynasty fortress – report

The Hasmonean dynasty, descendants of the Maccabee family, ruled Judea and surrounding areas from 141-37 BCE, during classical antiquity.


Aerial view of the Hasmonean estate house near Modi'in. (photo credit: ANTIQUITIES AUTHORITY)
Aerial view of the Hasmonean estate house near Modi’in.

Israeli NGO Regavim reported that the Palestinian Authority destroyed the Jewish heritage site of Tel Aroma in the absence of Civil Administration inspectors due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to JNS.

The NGO reported that the ancient walls of the Samarian fortress and the reservoirs within were destroyed by Palestinian constructing teams, adding that PA paved an access road to bring “heavy engineering tools” to the site.

“Enforcement authorities must give this matter the attention it deserves; they have a responsibility to live up to, this is their job and we expect them to do it. This systematic destruction of Jewish heritage sites throughout Judea and Samaria cannot continue. We demand that they put an immediate stop to the ongoing destruction of Tel Aroma; we call upon the relevant authorities to take action without delay,” head of the Samaria Regional Council Yossi Dagan told JNS.

Tel Aroma was one of eight ancient fortresses spread along the eastern Israeli border, established by the Hasmonean dynasty in either the early 1st or 2nd century. The fortress itself was situated upon a ridge, controlling a passage between Samaria and the Jordan Valley.

The Hasmonean dynasty, descendants of the Maccabee family, ruled Judea and surrounding areas from 141-37 BCE, during classical antiquity.

The dynasty – named after Hasmon, a distant ancestor of the Maccabees – transformed itself into an efficient war machine, greatly expanding the borders of its kingdom – building fortresses such as Tel Aroma along the way to protect its borders.

The Hasmonean kingdom lost its independence to the Romans in 63 BCE. Romans later ruled the former Jewish state – Herod the Great, of Edomite descent, the most infamous of them. Eventually, Roman governors ruled directly over Judea.

In 37 BCE the Hasmoneans fell to Herod, and the Herodian dynasty began.

According to JNS, Regavim’s “Preserving the Eternal” project noted that the demolition of the fortress had been ongoing for at least a year, however, in light of the coronavirus pandemic and the absence of Civil Administration inspectors, the newly installed PA access road has been used to bring in heavy machinery and construction equipment (generators, perimeter lighting, etc.) to take over the site.

The non-profit project added that Senior PA officials and members of the Beta Municipality formally inaugurated the site as a “Palestinian Heritage Site” which they purport gives them the “right” to carry on with the demolition.

“Minister of Defense Bennett, you have left a significant imprint on the Ministry of Defense in a short period of time. Now is the time to establish the legacy of your tenure—a legacy that will prove that the State of Israel protects its eternal birthright in the Land of Israel,” Eitan Melet, field coordinator for the Preserving the Eternal Project, told JNS.

Daniel K. Eisenbund and Eli Kavon contributed to this report.

May 12, 2020 | 1 Comment » | 389 views

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1 Comment / 1 Comment

  1. The WAFQ destroyed many artefacts under the temple Mount!
    What did IL do to prevent that?

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