The Tomb of Elazar is a Site of Political Wrangling. It is located in the village of Awarta, Samaria, controlled by the Palestinian Authority.
As promised by the newspaper AB Samaritan News, two or three times a year we monitor the condition of the Tomb of Elazar, the first High Priest of the People of Israel in the Land of Israel.
While inspecting on Wednesday 5 February, 2014, I found the following:
- there was no overall structural damage to the site. There have been no attempts to break the tombs, headstones or burial halls. The snowstorm in December 2013 has not damaged the tree over the tomb. There was no deliberate litter on the site
- “Price tag” vandals from the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine), have sprayed graffiti on three of the four sides of the tomb, apparently in retaliation for “price tag” vandalism by the Jewish Front. Prominent nationalist slogans have been sprayed in black inside the burial halls and on the entrance wall. The Nationalist slogans were dated 11 December 2013. There was also less prominent graffiti by broken-hearted Palestinian lovers
- on the north side of the monument the name “Abu Ali Mustafa (PFLP leader imprisoned, and later killed by Israel) – Popular Front ” was sprayed, together with a map of Palestine
- sprayed on the east side of the monument: “Heroes are not traitors – All good wishes to the conquering heroes” and “If time is against me, I am a Red Castle member, and ready for confrontation”
- sprayed on the south side of the monument: “Popular Front”
- sprayed on the walls of the burial hall: “We will not forget the blood of the heroes” and “the end of the cursed one will come and he will die”
- sprayed on the south wall of the burial hall: “Force will be met with force”
- sprayed on the eastern wall: “Popular Front” and a map of Palestine.
The damage to the site can be repaired by whitewashing the monument and the walls once or twice a year, at a cost of 1,500 to 2,000 Israeli Shekels. However, this “price tag” graffiti vandalism shows that Palestinians and Jews use the cover of darkness and the remoteness of the site to carry out their desecration.
Tours and visits by Israeli worshippers to the tomb of Elazar are fully coordinated with the Palestinian Authority and the village council of Awarta.
AB Samaritan News expects Palestinian police to make the same effort to find Palestinian vandals as Israeli police and security forces make to locate Jewish graffiti sprayers.
AB Samaritan News would like to emphasize that two years ago the Israelite Samaritans themselves restored this Holy Place, investing a total of 110,000 Israeli Shekels from donations. The Israelite Samaritans visit the tomb several times during the spring and summer, when they pray to the memory of Elazar the High Priest.
The site entrance is open to any visitor. There is no iron gate or barrier.
AB Samaritan News calls on the Palestinian police and security forces to conduct frequent security patrols at the site to prevent further desecration.
AB Samaritan News calls on the Palestinian Governor of the Nablus area to order the repair of the damage at the Tomb of Elazar.
The photos show: Steps leading to the site, graffiti on the tomb, at the entrance, and on the wall.