March 8, 2021
An aerial view of the ancient site at Hermesh in Samaria. (Photo: Regavim)
A Palestinian family has turned a Second Temple-era site near the Hermesh settlement in northern Samaria into a residential building, an NGO that aims to protect Israel's national lands and resources announced this week.
Over the years, several mikvehs and underground complexes dating back to the Second Temple have been discovered in the area around Hermesh, as well as buildings from the Ottoman period.
According to the group Regavim, the family took over one of the ancient structures, which had already been declared an archeological site, and turned it into a private residence.
Archeological remnants were discovered on a nearby hill as well, which experts believe to be part of the "industrial" area of the ancient city of Peresh.
Regavim was conducting infrastructure work on top of the hill when its members discovered that the family had turned the cave into their home. The IDF Civil Administration has submitted a request to remove the eviction order arrives.
"This is an ongoing case of incompetence and lack of enforcement," Regavim Spokesperson Avraham Binyamin explained.
Palestinians have a history of taking over heritage sites, he said. If the "invaders are not completely expelled from the area, these enforcement actions have no meaning," Binyamin said, warning that Palestinians would continue to destroy evidence of Jewish history in these locations.