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Israel’s ancient wonders in danger of ruin

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) has warned that Israel’s greatest archeological treasures are in grave danger of being destroyed by natural disasters and vandalism.

During the conference, IAA leaders cited dangers, including the possibility of earthquakes, which could threaten sites like Masada, Beit She’an and Jerusalem’s Old City, all of which are located near active fault lines with a history of earthquakes.

Speaking at the conference, IAA director Shuka Dorfman called on the government to take the initiative and be better prepared in case of natural disasters rather than hold “an investigation the day after.”

Dorfman also vowed that the IAA will create a “rapid response mechanism” that will be deployed to minimize damage and boost rehabilitation efforts in event of natural disasters.

The IAA also called for greater security for archaeological sites in order to prevent incidents like the vandalism of UNESCO site Uvdat in the Arava, which suffered millions of shekels in damage when two suspects allegedly poured paint and smashed and overturned ruins at the ancient Nabatean and Byzantine archaeological site.

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