Gan Hashomron archaeological park

Environmental Protection Minister Idit Silman, Tourism Minister Haim Katz, and Heritage Minister Rabbi Amichai Eliyahu are working to stop the Palestinians from further destroying archaeological sites. The trio will bring to the Knesset a vote on Sunday a bill to restore the Tel Shomron National Park and reopen it to the public. For years, the site was closed in light of the extensive destruction of antiquities carried out there by the Palestinian Authority. Tel Shomron Park, or Sebastia, is the ancient site of the Israelite castle that includes hundreds of magnificent artifacts and many graves of Jews dating back thousands of years.

About 30 million NIS will be allocated to turn the site into a center of attraction for visitors while restoring archaeological findings, building an access road, and building a sustainable model to finance the ongoing expenses of the site. Also, areas that have not yet been exposed will be mapped and measures will be promoted to prevent damage to the national park,  including increasing enforcement in the area and prevention of illegal construction.

Last March, additional acts of destruction by the Palestinian Authority were discovered in the National Park, and after an emergency tour, Heritage Minister Eliyahu, Environmental Protection Minister Silman, along with Tourism Minister Katz, instructed the government to promote the decision.

The Ministries of Heritage and Tourism will allocate 6 million NIS each, and the Ministry of Environmental Protection will allocate 4 million NIS. After headquarters work led by the Director General of the Ministry of Heritage, Nathaniel Isaac, a series of other ministries will allocate a budget to the government plan. The Nature and Parks Authority will formulate within 60 days a plan for the preservation and rescue of the heritage assets that exist on the site. At the same time, a committee will be established with the participation of the director generals of the ministries to implement the decision and monitor its implementation.

Minister of Environmental Protection Silman said: "We made a commitment and we are carrying it out. We will not allow our history to be erased. The proposal of the decision-makers is an important first step on the way to protecting the important site from Palestinian corruption. I hope that in a short time, we will be able to open the site to the general public and make the story of the capital of a kingdom accessible to all of Israel".

Tourism Minister Katz added: "After years of the land of the ancestors not receiving the respect it deserves as a major tourist destination, we have begun to correct the injustice. The Ministry of Tourism's support procedure has been updated so that Judea and Samaria have become an integral part of the Israeli government's policy in developing tourism infrastructure. The landscapes of Judea and Samaria are spectacular, all of them tell the story of the Jewish people. It is our duty to preserve and nurture our heritage in the region, the government

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