Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Israel Selects 16 New National Heritage Sites

Arutz-7 identifies three of the newly designated sites as Umm el-Qanatir, Gamla, and the Herodium.

A Cabinet-level committee has added 16 new national heritage sites, including two in the Golan Heights and Herod’s tomb in Gush Etzion. Foreign media immediately tried to turn the decision into a political act. 

[…]

Also on the list were two archeological sites in the Golan Heights and one in the Judean Hills, south of Jerusalem. All three are familiar to millions of tourists, but at least one foreign news agency implied that their inclusion on the list was a political decision because they are located in areas that are ”occupied.”

The Golan Heights have been a legal part of Israel for 30 years, but most international media still refer to it as “the occupied Golan.” One of the sites is Umm el-Kanitar, where archaeological excavations have revealed a Roman-era Jewish city and synagogue.

The other is on Gamla, a camel hump-shaped hill in the Golan that includes the remains of an ancient Jewish city and which was the site of the 1st century CE Jewish revolt against Roman conquerors. Gamla is a symbol of heroism for the modern State of Israel.

A third site is Herodian, the site of Herod’s palace in eastern Gush Etzion and a popular site for foreign tourists as well as Israelis.

The full article is here.

UPDATE: The Jerusalem Post story includes additional details.

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