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January 29, 2015 / 9 Shevat, 5775
 
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PA Caught Digging in Area of Maccabee Era Artifacts

The Palestinian Authority for years has been trying to destroy evidence of the existence of the Holy Temples, and new fears have arisen that they may try to the same in a Gush Etzion location of artifacts from the Hashmonean Dynasty, when the Miracle of Hanukkah occurred.

Artifacts and remnants of a fortress dating back to the period are located at the site that is being excavated near Bethlehem in an area where Israelis have not officiallyvisited for 20 years due to restrictions written in the Oslo Accords.

The Kfar Etzion Field School received special permission to visit the archaeological site and discovered that the Palestinian Authority has been organizing digs there, leading to fears that artifacts will be lost forever. A large fortress was uncovered at the site in the 1980s, and archaeologists have said it was built after the battle in which Judah the Maccabee was killed.

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