More than 250 Israeli settlers have stormed an archaeological site at the village of al-Jib, a Palestinian village in the Jerusalem Governorate northwest of Jerusalem.
The colonialists were protected by the Israeli Defense Force during the provocation, closing the main road leading into the village for two hours as the settlers performed religious rituals at the site.
One of the oldest Palestinian villages, Israel had seized 26.6% of al-Jib’s lands to establish Israeli settlements since 1967 and in 2005 began the construction of a “separation barrier” on yet more stolen land.
The wall completely surrounds the villages of al-Jib, al-Judeira, Bir Nabala, Beit Hanina al-Balad and Kalandiya, dividing Al Jib and creating a ghetto that prevents Palestinians without Israeli citizenship or residency from using nearby roads. In 2012 Israel demolished several houses in al-Jib, an action which displaced 67 Palestinian refugees.
Al-Jib is one of the oldest areas of Palestine, containing sites that date back to the Iron Age.
First settled in prehistoric times, the site is of supreme religious significance and is revered by Muslims, Christians and Jews. Al-Jib and the surrounding area is the location of an altar built by Abraham, where Jacob wrestled an angel, Jeroboam established an important sanctuary, where Joshua made the sun stand still and where Saul’s and David’s men fought. The area is also the location of Hellenistic towers, Babylonian and Roman artefacts and ruins and a large Byzantine monastery which was restored by Crusaders and later turned into a mosque.