Photo Credit: Hadas Parush / Flash 90
Tomb of Shmuel HaNavi

Israel’s Nature and Parks Authority has dismantled a national Hanukkah Menorah from the Tomb of Samuel the Prophet following complaints from the Islamic Waqf and Palestinian Authority Arabs living nearby, according to a tweet by A7.

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The site has been a flashpoint of frequent attacks by Muslims trying to disrupt the prayers of Jews and sometimes simply trying to damage the synagogue itself.

The menorah was installed Wednesday at the Tomb of the Prophet Shmuel, as it has been for years – as seen in the below tweet from Hanukkah 2015.

However, after complaints to the Israeli government by nearby Arabs and the Jordanian Islamic Waqf, after only 24 hours the Chanukah Menorah was removed.

The site, an Israeli National Park, is the traditional burial site of the biblical and Islamic prophet Shmuel (Samuel). It is located at the top of a steep rise that tops off at 908 meters above sea level north of Jerusalem, overlooking the holy city.

There is a synagogue built at the site, as well as a mosque built on the ruins of a Crusader fortress. Jews come to celebrate chalaka, or upsheren (the ceremonial first haircut for three-year-old boys) on the 28th day of the Hebrew month of Iyar at the start of summer. The date marks the anniversary of the death of the prophet, as well as Yom Yerushalayim, the Israeli national holiday celebrated on the anniversary of the 1967 reunification of the Israeli capital, Jerusalem.

Evidence of Jewish settlement from the First Temple period was also unearthed by archaeologists in the 1990s.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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