Work begins on Apollonia cliff top

The Nature and Parks Authority and Tel Aviv University recently began working at the historic Crusader ruins on the Apollonia cliff in Herzliya, reports The work aims to remove and preserve archeologically significant items while creating a water drainage system at the top of the crumbling cliff to prevent rainwater from causing it to deteriorate even further. According to the report, the city will soon begin building a wall of boulders at the foot of the cliff to protect it against the crashing waves, a plan that has aroused the opposition of environmentalists but which has the support of the Environmental Protection Ministry. In the meantime, work has begun on the ruins of the Crusader fortress at the top of the cliff, with the authorities removing the topmost layers to expose a large hall that had supported the floor above. The work aims to expose and preserve the floor of the hall and create a drainage system at the cliff top. A spokeswoman for the Apollonia national park said the new drainage system would be an important element in preserving the cliff, as the uncontrolled flow of water during the rainy season had contributed immensely to the crumbling of the cliff top. She said that because the fortress ruins were hundreds of years old and were a unique cultural treasure, the work could be done only by professional archeologists. But Green faction leader Dror Ezra said the Nature and Parks Authority had "nothing to be proud of," saying it should have done the drainage work at the top of the cliff years ago, and that building the four-meter high, 13-meter-long protective wall at the foot of the cliff would destroy the beach irrevocably, which would be "a disgrace" to the authority and to the city of Herzliya. No comment was reported from either the authority or the city.