On an area of about 1,600 square meters in the south of the West Bank, the Romans built, about two thousand years ago, one of their most important luxurious palaces.
The palace and cemetery are located in the Palestinian village of the same name “Al-Mawariq” (west of Hebron). Read also The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine… The Story of Settler Colonialism and Resistance (1917 – 2017)The lost olive trees remember the Nakba… How did the British Mandate authorities uproot Palestinian agriculture from their land?A hollow land.. The dynamics of Israeli settlement and the disruption of Palestinian geography as a prelude to swallowing it up The militarization of the Bible between Israel and the United States… How does the occupation use the “Book of Joshua” to gnaw on Palestinian lands?
Shawkat Hajjah, a professor in the history department at Hebron University, told Anadolu Agency that archaeological excavations took place in the place between 1969 and 1981, revealing the existence of the “Al-Mawaraq Palace” and the historical period to which it belongs.
He adds, “Next to the palace there is a beautifully and creatively carved cemetery in the rocks, which seems to belong to the aristocratic family, who used to live in this area.”
The Palestinian academic continues that all the symbols in the tomb “refer to the decorations of the Romans in general, and therefore there is no religious trace of any heavenly religion in it.”
Hajjah rejects the Israeli allegations that there are Jewish antiquities in the place, considering that the arrival and visit to the area “stems from an attempt to falsify and change the facts.”
From time to time, the Israeli army and settlers make incursions into the palace, the most prominent of which was the storming of 2017, in which the army confiscated some stones from the place, while settlers performed a Jewish “talmudic” ritual.
Jaber Muhaisen, a local official at the Ministry of Tourism, says that the cemetery was revealed to the general public after the local council expanded Mahath Street about a year ago, and it turned out that it was “exhumed by local residents in the seventies of the last century.”
The palace is located in an area classified as “B”; That is, it is subject to Palestinian civil authority and Israeli security, according to the “Second Oslo Agreement” of 1995, yet it is not spared from successive Israeli incursions.
The “Oslo II” agreement between the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel classified the West Bank lands into 3 areas; “A” is under full Palestinian control, “B” is under Israeli civilian, civilian, and administrative security control, and “C” is under Israeli civil, administrative, and security control.
Recently, Israeli settlers in the West Bank have stepped up their incursions into Palestinian sites and monuments, even those located in areas under the control of the Palestinian Authority, the most famous of which is the archaeological area in the town of Sebastia (in the northern West Bank).
Israeli and Palestinian estimates indicate that there are about 650,000 settlers in West Bank settlements, including Jerusalem, who live in 164 settlements and 124 outposts.