CANAANITE TEMPLE A team of archaeologists, led by Prof. Yosef Garfinkel of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Institute of Archaeology and Prof. Michael Hasel at Southern Adventist University in Tennessee, revealed extensive ruins of a Canaanite temple dating back to the 12th century BCE in Lachish, the Biblical city captured by Joshua. “This excavation has been breathtaking,” Garfinkel said. “It would be hard to overstate the importance of these findings.” According to an article first published in The Journal of the Council for British Research in the Levant, the team uncovered a compound with two columns and two towers leading to a large hall and inner sanctum, as well as two bronze figurines (bottom inset), gold artifacts, weapons, jewelry and pottery engraved with Canaanite script – including the oldest example of the letter samekh, a vertical line crossed by three perpendicular shorter lines ISRAEL STRIKES Israel Air Force fighter jets struck Islamic Jihad targets in the Gaza Strip and Syria, where six terrorists were killed, after a barrage of rockets was fired by the terrorist group at southern Israel on February 23, Defense Minister Naftali Bennett said. The attacks came after an an Islamic Jihad terrorist was shot dead by IDF troops while planting a bomb at the fence that separates Gaza and Israel. A day later, the IDF struck multiple targets in Gaza after more rockets were fired at Israel, one of which hit a kindergarten playground in Sderot, causing damage but no casualties because all schools in the area had been closed due to the security situation.UN BLACKLIST The United Nations on February 12 published a list of 112 companies doing business with Israeli settlements, drawing praise from the Palestinians and condemnation from Israel. “Boycotting Israeli companies does not advance the cause of peace and does not build confidence between the sides,” said President Reuven Rivlin. “We call on our friends around the world to speak out against this shameful initiative which reminds of dark periods in our history.” Israel announced the suspension of ties with the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, accusing it of serving the interests of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement.