Fencing the archaeological site of Herodian Mountain in Beit Ta’mar  town, Bethlehem Governorate

Fencing the archaeological site of Herodian Mountain in Beit Ta’mar  town, Bethlehem Governorate


  • Violation: Fencing an archaeological site.
  • Location: Beit Ta’mar  town,  Bethlehem Governorate.
  • Date: 07/14/2020.
  • Perpetrator: the Israeli Occupation Army.
  • Affected people: citizens of  Beit Ta’mar town.

Violation details:

On Tuesday evening, July 14, 2020, the Israeli occupation fenced off an area of 1 km3 Palestinian land surrounding the archaeological mountain of Herodian. The Occupation troops set up barbed wires on iron poles and a gate, under the pretext that it is a “national and archaeological park”.  By this 1030 dunums( almost 1 KM2 ) were isolated.

Herodian is an important archaeological site for Palestinians who have been residing the area for thousands of years, but is, nowadays, completely controlled by the Israeli Antiquities Department, with the aim of replacing the Palestinian cultural identity with a fake Jewish one that supports the Zionist claims.

This is in addition to the fact that the seizure of Herodian is an attempt to rob the Palestinian heritage and identity, as it is considered one of the greatest buildings constructed by King Herod the Great, it includes the remains of the impressive residential palace of Herod the Great, which was built at the end of the first century BC as part of the fortified castle. As for the Arabic name, it is Jabal Al-Fardis, which is derived from the Arabic word “Paradise”, which means the wonderful garden.

It should be noted that at the foot of the mountain there is a camp for the Israeli occupation army, which is only a few meters away from Palestinian homes and is considered a constant source of harassment , Palestinians who live in the area were deprived from their right of a decent and safe life. In this regard, The Israeli Occupation forces forced many residents to close the windows of their homes at all times,   some of them with cement, under the pretext of Security.

Hassan Barijia, director of the Bethlehem Wall and Settlement Resistance Authority office, said to the Land Research Center’s field researcher the following:

“the fence separates the mountain from the town of Beit Ta’mar. The colony of Nikodim inhabited by the former Israeli defense minister, Lieberman, was illegally built at the foot of the mountain which further  complicates  the matter for Palestinian citizens residing in the area. The Israeli Antiquities Department is trying to gain full control for Jabal Al-Fardis, as tourists continuously visit the area.”.

 It is noteworthy that some citizens have received a plan indicating that the Herodian area, and some areas of the lands owned by the Palestinians surrounding it are considered a touristic area.

Beit Ta’mar:[1]

5km to the southeast of Bethlehem, Beit Ta’mar is edged by Breid’a and Hindaza from the north,  Janata area from the west and Za’tra town from the east.

With a total land area of 40077 dunums, of which 116 dunums are the town’s built-up area, Beit Ta’mar is home for 1568 people (2014 census).

The Israeli occupation confiscated 260 dunums from the town  to construct the following:

  1. Al David colony that was established in 1999 on 65 confiscated dunums.
  2. The bypass road that is opened on 185 confiscated dunums
  3. A military camp that is set up on a 10 dunum area

According to the lands classifications of Oslo Accords, the lands of Beit Ta’mar are categorized as follows:

  • 742 dunums are classified as area A
  • 1601 dunums are classified as area B
  • 1734 dunums are classified as area C




Categories: Confiscation