Hamat Tiberias synagogue mosaic 370.
(photo credit: Reuven Reeven/National Parks Authority)
Vandals damaged an ancient mosaic floor and spray-painted walls at the
fourth-century-CE synagogue located at the Hamat Tiberias heritage site in the
Galilee overnight Monday.
Police are investigating the incident. The
vandals wrote messages apparently directed against the director-general of the
Antiquities Authority, Shuka Dorfman, and in protest of archeological digs at
the graves of ancient rabbis.
The Hamat Tiberias synagogue is
administered by the National Parks Authority.
It is believed to have been
built in the Sanhedrin period, in the fourth century CE.
mosaic floor, which was damaged by the vandals, is the earliest such synagogue
mosaic in the country, according to the National Parks Authority.
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park and synagogue is at the southern entrance to Tiberias across from the
Tiberias Hot Springs. The National Parks Authority said Tuesday that the vandals
caused millions of shekels of damage to the synagogue.
“We will work to
bring the criminals to justice and together with our partners in preserving
heritage sites in Israel, the Antiquities Authority, we will fix the great
damage done to the site,” National Parks Authority director Shaul Goldstein said
in response to the vandalism.
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