City Notes: Group reenacts Saladin’s Battle of the Horns of Hattin

A round-up of local affairs.

Ramon Crater (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Ramon Crater
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
A group called the Regnum Hierosolimitanum will step back into history next week to reenact the Battle of the Horns of Hattin – Saladin’s victory over the Crusaders in 1187 – on the anniversary of that landmark event.
Karnei Hittin, near Tiberias, is believed to be the site of the battle, in which the Muslim armies under Saladin captured or killed the vast majority of the Crusader forces, removing their capability to wage war. As a direct result of the battle, Islamic forces once again became the eminent military power in the Holy Land, reconquering Jerusalem and several other Crusader-held cities. The battlefield’s chief geographic feature was a double hill, the “Horns of Hattin” – hence the name.
Every year, the Regnum Hierosolimitanum historical reenactment reconstructs the events surrounding the battle in the actual landscape, amid the same topographical conditions that the original opponents faced. The project is based on significant academic research and archeological finds at the battlefields.
All the participants in the reenactment are assigned to one of the two armies – that of the Crusader King of Jerusalem (Gui de Lusignan), or Saladin’s. Characters include knights, a professional mercenary, members of the military order, Mamelukes, pilgrims, countrymen, city dwellers, Beduin and musicians.
The event will take place on July 2-4, departing from Tzipori and ending in the historic site of Hittin in the Lower Galilee.
Man dies after collapsing onto Haifa train tracks
An elderly man died on Sunday at the Haifa-Hof Hacarmel train station.
While standing on the platform, the man collapsed and fell onto the tracks. There were no trains coming, and a team of Magen David Adom paramedics quickly arrived at the scene. The man, however, had already died.
The circumstances of his death were unknown.
Car accident in North leaves one dead
A car accident on Route 85 in the North, near Nahf, left a 57-year-old man dead on Monday morning.
The car, for unknown reasons, ran off the road, flipped over and landed in a ditch. Fire and Rescue Services worked to extract the driver, who was trapped inside the vehicle, but Magen David Adom officials pronounced him dead at the scene.
Body found washed up on Netanya beach
Netanya police headquarters received a report on Monday claiming that a body had washed up between the waterfront foothills of Blue Bay Beach and Sironit Beach in the city.
Police launched an investigation into the incident.
Hamidrasha gallery hosts renowned Austrian artist
The advanced post-graduate fine arts program at Beit Berl College’s Faculty of Arts – Hamidrasha hosted internationally acclaimed artist Thomas Feuerstein in Tel Aviv this week.
Feuerstein, a universalist, has received a doctorate in art history and philosophy; been a copublisher of the journal Medien.Kunst.Passagen; won research grants for electronic art; published articles on art theory, biotechnology and other subjects; and taken part in exhibitions since 1988, mostly in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
His main interest is in processes of transformation and transition, the mixing of life and technology.
Biophily, Feuerstein writes, “is dedicated to researching an inverse understanding of nature and mirrored images of humankind, and describes those obsessions of techno-culture that hypertrophy the love of life, perverting it.”
Israel meets Switzerland at Bat Yam exhibition
Bat Yam’s Riviera Beach Gallery is presenting a new exhibition called “No Man Is an Island,” which brings together artists from Israel and Switzerland through historical and contemporary painting, photography and sculpture. The works portray tension between society and territory, and according to its organizers, reveal new sociological angles. As per its title, the exhibition highlights that no person stands alone.
The launch of the exhibition will take place on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Riviera gallery on Ben-Gurion and Nordau streets.
Teenage girl raped in Ramle
A 15-year-old girl was raped in Ramle, police reported on Sunday.
The incident occurred last Thursday, when a person she knew and two others allegedly forced her into their vehicle. They reportedly took her to a vacation apartment, where one of the men raped her and another forced her to perform other sexual acts.
Three suspects were arrested in the case and were due to appear in court.
Six missing hikers found safe in Negev
Six hikers who went missing last Saturday at the Ramon Crater near Mitzpe Ramon were found in good health on Sunday morning.
The group, which included three children, was reported missing on Saturday night during a hike in the Negev.
Eilat officials protest closure of Sde Dov airport
Eilat Mayor Meir Yitzhak Halevi is leading a campaign to fight the planned 2016 closure of Tel Aviv’s Sde Dov Airport. The mayor says closing the airport will have a severe impact on his city, as it will affect both residents and Eilat’s tourism industry – the foundation of its economy.
This week, the Halevi and Eilot Regional Council head Udi Gat convened senior officials from the fields of travel and commerce, as well representatives from academia, healthcare and airline companies, in a call to the government to postpone closing the airport’s civilian airfield until 2019, when the military field is scheduled to shut down. In that time, Eilat officials plan to find appropriate solutions to ensure the city’s continued connection to the rest of the country.
In 2013, finance minister Yair Lapid, construction minister Uri Ariel and Transportation Ministry director-general Ettie Itzhak signed an agreement to close Sde Dov and replace it with housing. The plan calls to use the cleared land to develop new buildings containing 16,000 housing units, commercial space and hotels. According to the agreement, the airport will move its traffic to Ben-Gurion Airport.
In a letter to the ministers this week, Halevi updated the current government on the establishment of a campaign to save Eilat, and its vigorous opposition to the government’s decision to evacuate Sde Dov.
“The result of the evacuation of Sde Dov will directly hurt the residents of Eilat and its surroundings,” the letter reads. “Most of the residents of Eilat work in tourism and thrive off the city’s tourism. In addition, their daily routines rely on the transportation axis with the Center [of the country].”
He added that the hurry to clear out the civilian airport was puzzling, since the military field would continue to operate until 2019 – and particularly since there was as yet no appropriate solution for the Eilat-Tel Aviv route, on which Eilat residents rely.
He asserted that shutting down Sde Dov and shifting the flights to Ben-Gurion would “dramatically reduce the availability of flights to and from Eilat and would significantly extend the length of arrival time to and from Eilat.”
NIS 9 million invested in new Sderot park
A new children’s park is set to be built in Sderot, to the tune of NIS 9 million. The park – which will be suitable not only for children, but for adults and the disabled as well – will be in the area known as “Wadi Sinai” or “Hanyon Tzahal.” It will cover approximately 2 acres and include a promenade down Begin Road.
There will be playgrounds and facilities for toddlers, children and adults, with water fountains and artistic features.
There will also be mini football pitches and mini basketball courts, workout equipment, swings, pergolas, shade and energy- efficient lighting.
The park will have an adjacent parking lot, and will also feature a small amphitheater for shows; tables for birthday parties; an area for dogs and their owners; and a bike trail.
“It’s hard to imagine today a city in Israel that doesn’t have a big, invested park, a green lung where children and parents can enjoy themselves,” said Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi this week. “This is an issue that comes up frequently among many residents who are desperate for a green, pleasant area. Therefore, we worked to advance the establishment of a big children’s park that will include lawns and playgrounds and will comprise a green lung for the benefit of local residents.”