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Dozens Israeli settlers storm archeological site of Sebastia for 2nd day in row

Nablus (QNN)- Dozens Israeli settlers stormed the archeological site of Sebastia in Nablus in the occupied West Bank, for the second day in a row, with the occupation forces’ protection, under the pretext of celebrating Jewish holiday.

Local sources said dozens of Israeli settlers forced their way into the site under the protection of the Israeli forces, who deployed earlier today at the village entrances and proceeded to close the site, preventing Palestinians from accessing it and from opening their shops, to make room for the settler intrusion.

The settlers’ raid came under the pretext of marking the week-long Sukkot holiday, a Jewish holiday which started on Monday evening, September 20 and ended next Monday, September 27.

Today is the second day in which the settlers stormed the site.

The Hamas group has condemned the occupation authorities’ closure of the site and preventing Palestinians from accessing it, describing the move as form of the “Zionist Israeli aggression on the Palestinian people.”

Sebastia is an ancient town dating back 3,000 years. It extends over 5,000 dunums [1,235 acres] and is inhabited by 3,500 people. Herod the Great named the city Sebaste — meaning Augustus — in honor of Roman Emperor Augustus Caesar in 27 B.C.

The city, famous for its dozens of Roman archaeological pieces and sites, continuously faces attacks by Israeli settlers and the Israeli forces, who have their eyes set on its archaeological sites.

The settlers also repeatedly raided the archeological site of Sebastia, as in June only, the settlers raided it more than three times.

Israel’s archeological activities in Palestinian territory aim to extend the policy of dispossessing Palestinians of their lands and cultural assets.

There are nearly 700,000 Israeli settlers living in 256 illegal settlements and outposts scattered across the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Israeli settlements are illegal under international law.

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