Samaria (Samaria Regional Council) (Samaria Regional Council)
Yossi Dagan

The destruction is ‘an attempt to systematically destroy the connection between the Jewish people and one of its important historic sites.’

By United With Israel Staff

Israeli officials were shocked this week to discover that a road had been paved by the Palestinian Authority over archaeological ruins at Sebastia National Park in the heart of Samaria.

Sebastia, which once served as a capital city of the ancient Kingdom of Israel, is the site of many antiquities, including pillars from the First Temple period and a giant amphitheater from the days of King Herod in the Second Temple period.

Members of the Shomrim Al Hanetzach organization, which monitors the destruction of antiquities in Judea and Samaria, first identified the wreckage, which included the destruction of a wall dating back to the period of King Herod and burial caves from the Second Temple period, according to Israel National News. Heavy construction equipment was found at the scene.

In addition, officials from the Palestinian Authority reportedly threw pig carcasses into the ancient graves.

On Wednesday, Heritage Minister Amichai Eliyahu and Environmental Protection Minister Idit Silman toured the ruins, vowing to promote a government decision to develop the area, Israel National News reported.

“The serious damage to the National Park and outside of it in recent years, while erasing the remains of the capital of Samaria and one of the most important sites in the history of the Jewish people, is also our erasure from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The war on Sebastia is also the war on Tel Aviv. In the coming days, we will work to promote a government decision that will allow the development of area,” said the ministers.

Samaria Regional Council Head Yossi Dagan, who accompanied the ministers, called the destruction “an attempt to systematically and decisively destroy any connection between the State of Israel and the Jewish People, and one of our most important cultural and historic sites.”