Days of Palestine – Nablus
Dozens of Israeli settlers stormed, this morning, Wednesday, the archaeological site in the town of Sebastia, north of Nablus.
Sebastia Mayor Mohamad Azim stated that dozens of settlers stormed the archaeological site, amid strict military measures by the Israeli occupation forces, and the site and the roads leading to it were closed to citizens.
Azim pointed out that the Israeli occupation forces had been deployed since the early hours of the morning in the streets of the town and on the roofs of citizens’ homes.
Azim indicated that this storming comes according to a fixed program announced by the settlers to storm the site every Wednesday.
For nearly four months, settlers have organized incursions into the archaeological site every Wednesday, under the escort of the Israeli occupation army.
Sebastia town is subjected to frequent incursions by the occupation forces, and the frequent closure of the archaeological site, to secure the entry of Jewish tourists who perform religious rituals, claiming that it is Israeli territory.
The Israeli occupation threatens to remove the Palestinian flagpole, which reaches a height of 17 meters and is erected in “Al-Bayader Square” in the town, which is an area classified “B”.
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The so-called Civil Administration of the Israeli occupation entity had previously demanded the Sebastia municipality to remove the pole and the Palestinian flag from Al-Baidar Square.
Archaeological sites in the West Bank have been exposed since the end of the eighties to the occupation’s attempts to place them under its administration, and Sebastia has actually been transformed into the so-called Israeli public gardens.
Later, Sebastia was considered part of the nearby settlement of “Shafi Shimron”, until the settlers carried signboards that read, “Sebastia Public Garden.”
Residents of the town of Sebastia in the northern West Bank seek to place it on the world tourism map, as it is one of the important archaeological sites, and to protect it from Israeli attempts to control it.