(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
Ahead of US President Donald Trump's possible speech at Masada National Park in two weeks, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority has already begun making logistical arrangements at the ancient Judean Desert fortress.
"It would be a great privilege for us to host the president of the United States, Mr. Donald Trump, at one of the most important archeological and historical heritage sites of the Jewish people," said Eitan Campbell, director of Masada National Park.
If Trump does visit the site, he will be the third president do so, following visits by Bill Clinton and George W. Bush during their terms, according to the INPA.
Masada National Park, which houses the remains of magnificent palaces from the reign of King Herod, was the last bastion of the Jewish freedom fighters against the Romans. The site has since become a unique historical symbol for the Jewish people, while providing breathtaking views of the Dead Sea valley. Masada is one of the most visited sites in Israel each year, attracting about 680,000 visitors in 2016, the INPA said.
This year, parks officials are doing all that they can to ensure that the site is ready to host a presidential visitor, should he choose to ascend the mountain and speak there as rumored.
"This is a complex logistical task that involves many bodies, but we at the INPA are experienced in hosting visits of this magnitude and importance, since in the past we have been privileged to host world leaders at Masada," Campbell said.
"Earlier this morning, we conducted a preliminary tour of the site with the visit organizers, on behalf of the INPA, and we are continuing our preparations for the possibility of Trump's visit to Masada."