Photo Credit: Wikipedia / Chaim / CC SA 3.0
Hasmonean royal winter palace near Jericho

The Civil Administration together with officers of the Border Police on Monday took action against 11 structures that were illegally erected by Arabs in the area of the Hasmonean Palaces archaeological site in Jericho. The buildings were razed by authorities.

The construction is yet another attempt by the Palestinian Authority (PA) to establish facts on the ground in Area c, the parts of Judea and Samaria under direct Israeli control.

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The Hasmonean Palaces, which were also used by King Herod, are some of the most important archaeological sites found from the Second Temple period – about 2,000 years ago.

On the site, which began as an agricultural estate in the days of King Yochanan Hyrcanus I, his successors including King Herod built magnificent winter palaces down in the Jordan River Valley for use when Jerusalem got to be too cold.

As part of a tour conducted in the area by the head of the Civil Administration, Brigadier General Fars Atila, an enforcement effort in the area was agreed upon as part of a campaign for the preservation of archaeological sites and for greater security enforcement overall in Area C.

Archeology staff officer in the Civil Administration, Hanania Hizami said, “The preservation of the archaeological sites in the area is placed at the top of the Civil Administration’s list of priorities.”

“The enforcement activity that was carried out is part of the many efforts we are leading,” he added, “with the aim of eradicating the phenomenon of illegal construction and preserving the ancient and holy places for the Jewish people throughout Judea and Samaria.”

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