Palestinians systematically demolish an important archaeological site in western Samaria, in Area C, under full Israeli control, while the authorities responsible for the area fail to enforce the site.
In recent days, the Palestinians demolished Horvat Amir, located in the area of Kiryat Netafim and the village of Qarawat Bani Hassan. This is a site from the Second Temple period that includes several artifacts that have not yet been studied. Among other things, there is a tomb estate called Deir ad-Darb, whose owners are believed to have belonged to the social elite of the Kingdom of Judah, an ashlar structure called Qal'at Pardos, Horvat Pardusi, and monumental field towers called Qasr Mansoura and Qasr Kuka.
Right: The site in 2007 and left, today, photo: Samaria Regional Council
Since 2007, massive Palestinian development has been underway within the Polygon, a neighborhood that includes houses and roads built on the site, and new roads are currently being paved in the center of the site in preparation for home infrastructure. The artifacts and remains at the site are completely destroyed and disappeared as part of Palestinian development. Among other things, the site documented how the Palestinians built terraces on a wall, using ancient stones from the site, building foundations for new buildings nearby and on remains, and building an entire neighborhood on top of the site.
"Advanced procedure of extermination"
"The site is in an advanced process of destruction, and will soon cease to exist as an antiquities site. Enforcement in the area is negligible, and if the situation continues, the site will cease to exist," said a scathing report by the organization Guardians of Eternity.
Recently, the Civil Administration Archaeology Officer asked to act at the site and enforce the law, but in an unusual move, the IDF prohibited activity at the site, which is located west of the Palestinian village of Qarawat Bani Hassan.
"The village sits in an archaeological space rich in concentration of sites. The sites around the village are suffering from heavy destruction and destruction under the direction of the village municipality," Guardians of Eternity said. "The IDF does not take control of the incident, does not understand the gravity of the situation and does not enforce, while sites that are thousands of years old are completely erased. We call for urgent emergency intervention by the Minister of Defense, Minister Smotrich, who is in charge of civilian affairs in the Ministry of Defense, and the Minister of Heritage to arrest and prosecute the villagers, stop the destruction taking place and conduct urgent salvage excavations."
Yossi Dagan, head of the Samaria Regional Council, also condemned what was happening there: "Time and time again we see how the Palestinian Authority is crudely shattering history. The State of Israel must act."
The IDF Spokesperson said in response: "The claim is familiar. Enforcement will be carried out in accordance with the assessment of the situation and operational considerations."
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