Last month, a Palestinian Authority road building crew tore down a section of the outer wall of the site which many believe is the location of Joshua's altar, causing irreversible damage.
"At that time Joshua built an altar to the Lord, the God of Israel, on Mount Ebal, just as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded the people of Israel, as it is written in the Book of the Law of Moses, 'an altar of uncut stones, upon which no man has wielded an iron tool.'" Joshua 8
The site has been extensively documented by tour guide Aaron Lipkin who is dedicated to bringing awareness to often overlooked, yet important, Biblical sites like Joshua’s altar. “This is an important holy site for Jews and Christians” Lipkin said on a recent episode of the Joshua and Caleb Report, filmed at the altar after the incident. “The wall was built to make it clear what is holy and what is unholy… Whoever did this touched the holiness of our Bible and of our belief.”
Birds-eye view of the altar site. The wall damage can be seen at the center, the altar at the top of image. Credit: The Joshua and Caleb Network
The wall surrounding the altar is likely one of the “gilgal”—footprints—constructed by the children of Israel as they took possession of the Promised Land. It’s connected to God’s statement in Joshua 1:3 “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you…”
You can buy Aaron Lipkin’s exciting documentaries about Joshua’s altar, the footprints, and other sites in Judea and Samaria, here.
While some have described the incident as an unfortunate accident, many others in Israel have called the event a purposeful act of "archaeological terrorism," The Times of Israel reported.
Whatever the case, the event highlights the raging battle over Judea and Samaria, the biblical heartland of Israel, and the need for people to stand with the Jewish people who are taking a stand on the promises of God, rebuilding and resettling their ancient homeland.
Another incident that highlights the struggle over Judea and Samaria is a report from the JPost, which stated that last year alone, the Palestinian Authority (PA) paid over $150 million to Palestinians who committed acts of terrorism against Israelis.
But there is positive news coming out of Judea and Samaria as well. In a major shift, the KKL-JNF, the Jewish National Fund, which works to purchase and develop land in Israel for Jewish settlement, announced that they would be approving $11.7 Million to purchase land and expand Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria.