Prehistoric metropolis uncovered during construction work off Highway 1

“This is the first time that a large settlement of this size has been discovered in the country from the Neolithic period – 9,000 years ago."

August 1, 2019 16:47
3 minute read.
Prehistoric metropolis uncovered during construction work off Highway 1

Sivan Yaari in Africa. (photo credit: YANIV BERMAN/IAA)

ANCIENT CITY A prehistoric metropolis that was home to some 2,500 people was uncovered during construction work off Highway 1 near Motza, 5 km west of Jerusalem, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced on July 16. “This is the first time that a large settlement of this size has been discovered in the country from the Neolithic period – 9,000 years ago,” excavation directors Dr. Hamoudi Khalaily and Dr. Jacob Vardi (pictured) said in a statement. The dig unearthed public and residential buildings, ritual and burial sites, arrowheads, figurines and jewelry.

BDS DEFEAT The US House of Representatives passed a bipartisan resolution by a vote of 398-17 with five abstentions on July 23, opposing any boycott of Israel. Resolution 246, sponsored by Rep. Bradley Scott Schneider (D-IL), rejects the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, saying it “undermines the possibility for a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by demanding concessions of one party alone and encouraging the Palestinians to reject negotiations in favor of international pressure.”

PA IRE Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced on July 25 that the PA would “halt” all agreements with Israel. The PA was angered by the IDF’s demolition of a dozen illegal apartment buildings in the neighborhood of Wadi Hummus south of Jerusalem three days earlier. Israel’s Civil Administration said 17 residents were ordered to leave before the buildings were torn down because of their proximity to the security fence, noting that the High Court of Justice had ruled that they “pose a security danger to the area.”

ARROW TEST Israel and the United States completed a series of successful tests of their advanced Arrow 3 missile defense system in Alaska, the Defense Ministry announced on July 28. The tests, carried out for the first time outside Israel, came as Iran announced it had tested a Shahab-3 missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. “Today Israel has the ability to act against ballistic missiles that could be launched against us from Iran or anywhere else,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

TOURISM SOARS Some 93% of tourists ranked their visit to Israel in 2018 in the “good to excellent” category, according to a Tourism Ministry survey released in July. The survey found that 53.2% of tourists said that their views on Israel had changed for the better upon their visit to the country. From January-June 2019, the ministry said, a record 2.265 million tourists visited Israel, a rise of almost 10% from the previous year.

GOLD MEDALS Israeli judo champion Or Sasson, 28, won a gold medal at the Budapest Grand Prix on July 14 by beating Kageura Kokoro of Japan. Sasson’s performance makes him a favorite to win a medal at the World Judo Championships in Tokyo in August. In rowing, Israel won a gold in the Mixed Coxed fours, while Paralympic Moran Samuel earned a silver medal in the women’s singles 2019 World Rowing Cup III in Rotterdam.
SCHOLAR OF VALOR Dr. Leila Leah Bronner, a Jewish educator, biblical scholar and philanthropist, died in Los Angeles at the age of 89 on July 2, and was buried in Jerusalem two days later. Born in Czechoslovakia and raised in New York, Bronner wrote eight books, the most famous of which was From Eve to Esther, an analysis of women in the Bible. She was a popular professor at universities in Israel, the US and South Africa, where she and her husband, Rabbi Joseph Bronner, were founders of Yeshiva College, a Jewish day school in Johannesburg.

MEDIA MAN Dr. Evan Cohen, 51, a linguistics professor at Tel Aviv University, was appointed on July 14 by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as his foreign press adviser replacing David Keyes, who stepped down in September 2018. Born in Durban, South Africa, Cohen is a founder of the Likud’s LGBT forum as well as the Tel Aviv Scrabble Club.

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