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Arabs Destroy ‘Secret Cave’ of Bar Kochba Rebellion

Palestinians last week destroyed an ancient cave in the Gush Etzion area, dating back to rebellion against Rome 1,900 years ago..

By Shimon Cohen

The damaged cave, pre-destruction
Gush Etzion Field School1

Palestinians last week badly damaged an ancient cave in the Gush Etzion area. The cave, which was dated from the days of Bar Kochva – some 1,900 years ago – was effectively destroyed, officials of the Gush Etzion Field School said.

Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Yaron Rosenthal, head of the Field School, said that in recent months, the IDF has stopped providing protection for sites like the cave – providing opportunities for Arabs who seek to damage the age-old connection between Jews and the Land of Israel to act.

The cave, Rosenthal said, was one of the largest of the “secret caves” used by Jewish revolutionaries fighting Roman terror during the Bar Kochba rebellion, between 132 and 136 CE. The cave, which is the entrance to a network of subterranean passages that run for many kilometers under the Judean Hills, may have held hundreds of Jewish rebels and large amounts of supplies. A large part of the network is located under the Arab village of Arabiya, which is located on the ruins of a large Jewish town from the Mishnaic period, over 2,000 years ago.

Arab vandals, sometime during or before the Sukkot holiday, used a tractor to destroy the entrance to the cave. It was only by chance that a member of the Field School who was very familiar with the cave passed by and reported on what happened. Rosenthal said that the tractor destroyed priceless archaeological finds.

But the Bar Kochba cave


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