In an unprecedented activity, Israeli colonists break into Burak Suliman (King Solomon’s pools) in area A in Al-Khadir city / Bethlehem governorate

In an unprecedented activity, Israeli colonists break into Burak Suliman (King Solomon’s pools) in area A in Al-Khadir city / Bethlehem governorate


Violation: colonists violates area classified as A

Date: April/2013

Location: al-Khadir/ Bethlehem

Perpetrators: colonists from the nearby colonies of Bethlehem


Today’s violation is unlike other violations and assaults the city of al-Khadir underwent, taking into consideration that it happened within area classified A according Oslo Accord, which is under the full authority of the Palestinian sovereignty. In other words, this is a clear-cut breach of the Accord1.

Colonists' raids of Burak Suliman in addition to other 6 sites have escalated obviously . The occupation closes roads so that colonists can walk in groups of right-wing extremists in order for them to bathe themselves in the pools’ water and practice some sectarian rituals. This break-in happens every Friday during April and the reason why colonists and the occupation are interested in the area is because of its captivating scenery and nature in addition to its abundance of antiquities.

According to citizen Mahmoud Salah  to the LRC researcher : those violations were carried out  for the sake of provoking the residents of al –khadir with several serious political implications such like taking over the pools, which , as they claim,  belong to their grandfathers. Citizens of town come at time of the religious celebrations to prevent colonists but the occupation protect them until they finish. Noteworthy, the area is an archeological one and is considered as the only breather for the residents".

Photo 1: colonists during the raid

Raiding areas classified as A and the Oslo Accord

The authorities of the Israeli occupation claim commitment to Oslo Accord and the Cairo Accord  in terms of administering the areas classified as C, which are under their full authority.

Having break-ins and raids in areas classified A is not only a clear cut breach of the treaty "Oslo" but an invalidation of it as well for the following reasons:

  • Unlike religious sites such Josef tomb in Nablus(located in area A and has specific visiting schedule by sectarian Jews) and the religious shrine of Jericho, King Solomon's pools were classified as an archeological site relative to  Palestinian Ministry of Endowment and Islamic Affairs. Therefore, any official or administrative breach to change facts on the ground invalidates the treaty .
  • Having the occupation army accompanies religious colonist to areas classified A to practice  religious rituals is a technique to forcechange facts on the ground.
  • Having the occupation army accesses  area classified A with previous coordination with the Palestinians is a breach for the Palestinian sovereignty that is unrightfully based on force.
  • After the recognition of the Palestinian state in the UN, any claims of any Jewish or Israeli right to the Palestinian territories of the 1967 is an infraction of the international legitimacy.

1.      Solomon's Pools- Bethlehem

Located to the southeast of the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Solomon's pools consist of three open cisterns, fed from an underground spring. The total water capacity of the three is approximately 160,000 m2. On this account, the pools have played a significant role in the area's water supply for centuries especially so for Bethlehem and Jerusalem. There is a canal linking the pools with Jerusalem that works by the concept of gravity.

What do Jews have to do with Solomon's Pools?

Some radical colonists of Zion societies claim that the pools were built during the ruling of King Solomon (who is also a prophet). Consequently, they consider the pools a Jewish legacy. This allegation is invalid for the following reasons:

  • The pools were designed and built during the time of Romans and Mamalik. A fact documented by Orientalists and historians.
  • The pools and land surrounding it were registered as Islamic Waqf under the Ottoman ruling.
  • The Israeli narrative that King David and his successor King Solomon once founded a country in Palestine has been proven false by the archaeological studies. Rather, the narrative was made up in the Roman era and has been circulated ever since. A reputable Israeli archaeologist once disclosed that during the forty years of excavation under the Al Aqsa Mosque, not a single proof that there had been the Solomon's Temple in the place was found. 
  • Solomon's Pools have always been considered a tourist attraction, and not a religious site.


1 Oslo Accord is a peace treaty which was signed by Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization PLO in Washington, USA in 13/09/1993,  in addition to the annexed treaty which was signed in 28/09/1995 in Cairo. The treaty was named after the city of Oslo of the Norway where the secret talks which drafted this treaty took place. Israel did not respect the treaty, breeched it, and is no longer acknowledging its legitimacy.



Prepared by
 The Land Research Center


Categories: Settlers Attacks