It has played an important role in modern times, acting as the regional center of the villages in the Beit Shean Valley. The ancient city ruins are now protected within a national park, a large cemetery on the northern Mound was in use from the Bronze Age to Byzantine times. Canaanite graves dating from 2000 to 1600 BCE were discovered there in 1926, after the Egyptian conquest of Beit Shean by pharaoh Thutmose III in the 15th century BCE, the small town on the summit of the Mound became the center of the Egyptian administration of the region. The Egyptian newcomers changed the organization of the town and left a great deal of material culture behind, artifacts of potential cultic significance were found around the temple. Based on a found in the temple, inscribed with Egyptian hieroglyphs. University Museums most important finds near the temple is the Lion and Dog stela, the Hebrew University excavations determined that this temple was built on the site of an earlier one. During the three hundred years of Egyptian rule, the population of Beit She’an appears to have been primarily Egyptian administrative officials, the town was completely rebuilt, following a new layout, during the 19th dynasty.
The University Museum excavations uncovered two important stelae from the period of Seti I and a monument of Rameses II, Pottery was produced locally, but some was made to mimic Egyptian forms. Other Canaanite goods existed alongside Egyptian imports, or locally made Egyptian-style objects, the 20th dynasty saw the construction of large administrative buildings in Beit Shean, including Building 1500, a small palace for the Egyptian governor. During the 20th dynasty, invasions of the Sea Peoples upset Egypts control over the Eastern Mediterranean, though the exact circumstances are unclear, the entire site of Beit Shean was destroyed by fire around 1150 BCE. The Egyptians did not attempt to rebuild their administrative center and finally lost control of the region, an Iron Age I Canaanite city was constructed on the site of the Egyptian center shortly after its destruction. Around 1100 BC, Canaanite Beit Shean was conquered by the Philistines, during a subsequent battle against the Jewish King Saul at nearby Mount Gilboa in 1004 BC, the Philistines prevailed.
1 Samuel 31,10 states that the victorious Philistines hung the body of King Saul on the walls of Beit Shean, portions of these walls were excavated on the Mound recently. The Assyrian conquest of northern Israel under Tiglath-Pileser III brought about the destruction of Beit Shean by fire, minimal reoccupation occurred until the Hellenistic period. The Hellenistic period saw the reoccupation of the site of Beit Shean under the new name Scythopolis, little is known about the Hellenistic city, but during the 3rd century BCE a large temple was constructed on the Tell. It is unknown which deity was worshipped there, but the continued to be used during Roman times. Graves dating from the Hellenistic period are simple, singular rock-cut tombs, in 198 BCE the Seleucids finally conquered the region. The town played a role after the Hasmonean-Maccabeean Revolt, Josephus records that the Jewish High Priest Jonathan was killed there by Demetrius II Nicator, the city was destroyed by fire at the end of the 2nd century BCE
The cave was occupied intermittently during the Lower and Middle Paleolithic. In the course of this period, deposits of sand, excavations suggest that it features one of the longest sequences of human occupation in the Levant. The earliest and lowest deposits in the cave contain large amounts of sea sand and this, and pollen traces found, suggests a relatively warm climate at the time. The melting glaciers which covered parts of the globe caused the sea level to rise. The Coastal Plain was narrower than it is today, and was covered with savannah vegetation, the cave dwellers of that time used handaxes of flint or limestone for killing animals and for digging out plant roots. The material remains from the strata of the cave are of the Mousterian culture. Small flint tools made of thin flakes predominate these levels, many produced using the Levallois technique, tools typical of the Mousterian culture feature elongated points, and include flakes of various shapes used as scrapers, end scrapers and other denticulate tools used for cutting and sawing.
Arthur Jelinek’s 1967 to 1972 excavations of the cave yielded over 1,900 complete, the bulk of the biface assemblage can be attributed to the Late Acheulian and Yabrudian industries. The large number of deer bones found in the upper layers of the Tabun Cave may be due to the chimney-like opening in the back of the cave which functioned as a natural trap. The animals may have been herded towards it, and fell into the cave where they were butchered, the Tabun Cave contains a Neanderthal-type female, dated to about 120,000 years ago. It is one of the most ancient human remains found in Israel. A2014 study of objects at Tabun suggests that Homo sapiens used fire at the site on a basis since about 350,000 years ago. List of fossil sites List of hominina fossils Image of Tabun 1 skull at Modern Human Origins
Mount Tabor is located in Lower Galilee, Israel, at the eastern end of the Jezreel Valley,11 miles west of the Sea of Galilee. It was the site of the Mount Tabor battle between Barak under the leadership of the Israelite judge Deborah, and the army of Jabin commanded by Sisera and it is believed by many Christians to be the site of the Transfiguration of Jesus. It is known as Har Tavor in Hebrew, Itabyrium in the Graeco-Roman world, Jebel et-Tur in Arabic, the Catholic church at the top is well visible from afar. At the base it is almost fully surrounded by the Arab villages of Daburiyya, the mountain is a monadnock, an isolated hill or small mountain rising abruptly from gently sloping or level surrounding land, and is not volcanic. In spite of its proximity to the Nazareth mountains, it constitutes a separate geological form, at the bottom of the mountain was an important road junction, Via Maris passed there from the Jezreel Valley northward towards Damascus. Its location on the junction and its bulgy formation above its environment gave Mount Tabor a strategic value.
The mountain is mentioned for the first time in the Hebrew Bible, in Joshua 19,22, the mountains importance stems from its strategic control of the junction of the Galilees north-south route with the east-west highway of the Jezreel Valley. Descending from the mountain, the Israelites attacked and vanquished Sisera, in 55 BCE, during a Hasmonean rebellion against the Roman proconsul of Syria, Aulus Gabinius, Alexander of Judaea and his army of 30,000 Judeans was defeated in battle at Mount Tabor. As many as 10,000 Jewish fighters were killed in the battle and Alexander was forced to flee, Itabyrium, as Josephus calls it, was one of the 19 sites fortified by the rebels in Galilee under his very orders. According to what is written in his book The Wars of the Jews, Vespasian sent an army of 600 riders, under the command of Placidus, who fought the rebels. Placidus understood that he could not reach the top of the mountain with his forces. A group of Jewish rebels descended from the mountain, supposedly, in order to negotiate with Placidus, many of the Jewish rebels left Mount Tabor and returned to Jerusalem.
The rest of the rebels in the fortress on the mountain surrendered after their water ran out. They handed over the mountain to Placidus, after the destruction of the Second Temple, Jewish settlement On Mount Tabor was renewed. However, none of these accounts identifies the high mountain of the scene by name, the earliest identification of the Mount of Transfiguration as Tabor is by Origen in the 3rd century. This early speculation is recounted by St. Cyril of Jerusalem and it is recounted in the 5th century Transitus Beatae Mariae Virginis. Mount Hermon is an alternative site according to tradition, due to the importance of Mount Tabor in Christian tradition, from the 4th century onward it became a pilgrimage site. According to descriptions of the pilgrims, during the 6th century there were three churches on the top of the mountain, and during the 8th century there were four churches and a monastery
Mount Arbel is a mountain in The Lower Galilee near Tiberias in Israel, with high cliffs, views of Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights, trails to a cave-fortress, and ruins of an ancient synagogue. Mt. Arbel sits across from Mount Nitai, their cliffs were created as a result of the Jordan Rift Valley, there are four villages on the mountain, Kfar Zeitim, Kfar Hittim, and Mitzpa. Nearby are the ruins of an ancient Jewish settlement with a synagogue from the fourth century CE with pews, dug into the mountain itself are a number of cave dwellings, expanded from natural caves. There are documented Jewish cliff dwellings dating back to the Second Temple period in the area, the extant fortification walls protecting some of these caves are from the 17th century and were built by Ali Bek, son of the Druze emir Fakhr ad-Din al-Maani. Josephus writes about how Herod the Great, with the help of Roman soldiers, the caves on the steep northern side were reused in the Ottoman period by the Druze Maani dynasty to create the cave castle known as Qalat Ibn Maan.
The area was declared a reserve in 1967, covering 1400 dunams. The national park includes most of Nahal Arbel, that begins near Eilabun, the reserve covers the immediate area around the cliff. On the south side of the cliff, there is a gradual prolonged climb through agricultural and pasture land, from here there are metal handholds driven into the rock to aid those who want to make the climb down to the valley below. Below that are a series of switchbacks that eventually lead to the Bedouin village of Hamaam, Mt. Arbel, with its 110-metre vertical drop, is the only known mountain in Israel to serve as a base jumping site. A hike to the top of Mount Arbel from the south is included in the Israel National Trail, and an approach from the west is part of the Jesus Trail, the trails converge temporarily at the peak
Hippos is an archaeological site in Israel, located on a hill overlooking the Sea of Galilee. Between the 3rd century BC and the 7th century AD, Hippos was the site of a Greco-Roman city, besides the fortified city itself, Hippos controlled two port facilities on the lake and an area of the surrounding countryside. Hippos was part of the Decapolis, or Ten Cities, a region in Roman Jordan and Israel that were tied more closely to Greece. Established as Antioch of Hippos by Seleucid settlers, the city is named after the Greek language word for horse, other names include the alternate spelling Hippus and the Latinized version of the Greek name, Hippum. The precise reason why the city received this name is unknown, Hippos was built on a flat-topped foothill 2 kilometres east of and 350 metres above the Sea of Galilee,144 metres above sea level, near modern Kibbutz Ein Gev. The site is just on the Israeli side of the 1949 UN-demarcated ceasefire line between Syria and Israel, Excavations in Hippos have revealed traces of habitation from as early as the Neolithic period.
The site was inhabited in the third century BC by the Ptolemies. During this time, Coele-Syria served as the battleground between two dynasties descending from captains of Alexander the Great, the Ptolemies and the Seleucids. It is likely that Hippos, on a defensible site along the border lines of the 3rd century BC, was founded as a border fortress for the Ptolemies. The city of Hippos itself was established by Seleucid colonists, most likely in the middle of the second century BC and its full name, Antiochia Hippos, reflects a Seleucid founding. As the Seleucids took possession of all of Coele-Syria, Hippos grew into a full-fledged polis, Antiochia Hippos was improved with all the makings of a Greek polis, a temple, a central market area, and other public structures. The availability of water limited the size of Hellenistic Hippos, the citizens relied on rain-collecting cisterns for all their water, this kept the city from supporting a very large population. The Maccabean revolt resulted in an independent Jewish kingdom under the Hasmonean dynasty in 142 BC, 83–80 BC, Alexander Jannaeus led a Hasmonean campaign to conquer lands east of the Jordan River.
In 63 BC the Roman general Pompey conquered Coele-Syria, including Judea, under Roman rule, Hippos was granted a certain degree of autonomy. The city minted its own coins, stamped with the image of a horse in honor of the citys name, Hippos was given to Herod the Great in 37 BC and returned to the Province of Syria at his death in 4 BC. According to Josephus, during this time Hippos, a city, was the sworn enemy of the new Jewish city across the lake. Jews had resided in Tiberias when it was known by its previous name. Rakkat was given the name Tiberias some 25 years after Herods death by his son, Herod Antipas, in honor of the Roman Emperor, Josephus reports that during the Great Jewish Revolt of AD 66–70, Hippos persecuted its Jewish population
Bayt ʿIṭāb was a Palestinian Arab village located in the Jerusalem Subdistrict. The village is believed to have inhabited since biblical times. An ancient tunnel which led to the spring is associated with story of Samson. Prior to, and after its incorporation into Crusader fiefdoms in the 12th century, sheikhs from the Lahham family clan, who were associated with the Qays tribo-political faction, ruled the village during Ottoman era. In the 19th century, this clan controlled 24 villages in the vicinity, the homes were built of stone. The local farmers cultivated cereals, fruit trees and olive groves, after a military assault on Bayt ʿIṭāb by Israeli forces in October 1948, the village was depopulated and demolished. Many of the villagers had fled to camps in the West Bank less than 20 kilometres from the village. In 1950, an Israeli moshav, Nes Harim, was established north of the built up portion of Bayt Itab, Bayt ʿIṭāb is identified with Enadab, a name that appears in a list of Palestinian towns compiled by Eusebius in the fourth century CE.
The building had two stories, both vaulted, the floor entrance was protected by a slit-machicolation and had stairs leading to the basement. Nonetheless, his wife was forced to sell his landholdings after he was prisoner by Islamic forces in 1161. It was acquired by and made a fief of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Arabic name of the village appears in Latin transliteration as Bethaatap in a list recording the sale of the land holdings belonging to Gothman in 1161. Edward Robinson visited the village in 1838, and described its stone houses, in the center of the village were the ruins of a castle or tower. Robinson estimates, the population was six to seven hundred people. He notes that Beit Atab, as he transcribes it, was the town of the Arkub district. Robinson recounts that he was a man from the Lahaam clan. Rising to greet them, he invited them to stay for the night, but as they were in a hurry to see more of the country before the setting of the sun, in the mid-19th century, the sheikh of Bayt Itab was named Utham al-Lahham.
He had been exiled in 1846, but had managed to escape, a supporter of the Qays faction, Lahham was in conflict with the Yamani faction leaders, especially the sheikh of Abu Ghosh. In the 1850s the conflict between two families over the control of the district of Bani Hasan dominated the area
In the Middle Bronze Age and the Israelite period, Hazor was the largest fortified city in the country and one of the most important in the Fertile Crescent. It maintained commercial ties with Babylon and Syria, and imported large quantities of tin for the bronze industry, in the Book of Joshua, Hazor is described as “the head of all those kingdoms”. The Hazor expedition headed by Yigal Yadin in the mid-1950s was the most important dig undertaken by Israel in its years of statehood. Tel Hazor is the largest archaeological site in northern Israel, featuring an upper tell of 30 acres, in 2005, the remains of Hazor were designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO as part of the Biblical Tels - Megiddo, Beer Sheba. However, EA148 specifically reports that Hasuras king had gone over to the Habiru, in these documents, Hazor is described as an important city in Canaan. Hazor is mentioned in the Execration texts, that pre-date the Amarna letters, and in 18th century BC documents found in Mari on the Euphrates River.
According to the Book of Joshua, Hazor was the seat of Jabin, a powerful Canaanite king who led a Canaanite confederation against Joshua, but was defeated by Joshua, who burnt Hazor to the ground. According to the Book of Judges, Hazor was the seat of Jabin, the king of Canaan, whose commander, led a Canaanite army against Barak, but was ultimately defeated. Israel Finkelstein claims that the Israelites emerged as a subculture within Canaanite society, in this view, the Book of Joshua conflates several independent battles between disparate groups over the centuries, and artificially attributes them to a single leader, Joshua. Amnon Ben-Tor of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem believes that recently unearthed evidence of violent destruction by burning verifies the Biblical account, the archaeological remains suggest that after its destruction, the city of Hazor was rebuilt as a minor village within the territory of Naphtali. According to the Books of Kings, the town, along with Megiddo, some archaeologists conclude that they were constructed in the tenth century by King Solomon, others date these structures to the early 9th century BC, during the reign of the Omrides.
However, Yadins dating was based on the assumption that the layer connected with the gates, archaeological remains indicate that towards the half of the 9th century BC, when the king of Israel was Jehu, Hazor fell into the control of Aram Damascus. Some archaeologists suspect that subsequent to this conquest Hazor was rebuilt by Aram, the town, along with the remainder of the kingdom of Israel, entered a period of great prosperity, particularly during the rule of Jeroboam II. Some archaeologists attribute the large scale constructions at Hazor, despite the defences, in 732 BC Hazor was captured, its population deported, and the city was burnt to the ground. The site of Hazor is around 200 acres in area, with a city making up about 1/8 of that. The upper mound has a height of about 40 meters, initial soundings were carried out by John Garstang in 1926. Major excavations were conducted for 4 seasons from 1955 to 1958 by a Hebrew University team led by Yigael Yadin, Yadin returned to Hazor for a final season of excavation in 1968.
The excavations were supported by James A. de Rothschild, and were published in a five volume set of books by the Israel Exploration Society
Chorazin was an ancient village in northern Galilee, two and a half miles from Capernaum on a hill above the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. Chorazin, along with Bethsaida and Capernaum, was named in the gospels of Matthew, because these towns rejected his work, they were subsequently cursed. The gospels make no mention of Chorazin or what works had occurred there. According to the hypothesis, this story originally came from the Q document. Despite this textual evidence, archaeologists have not yet been successful in finding a settlement dating to the first century, due to the condemnation of Jesus, some early Medieval writers believed that the Antichrist would be born in Chorazin. The Babylonian Talmud mentions that Chorazin was a known for its grain. Two settlement phases have been proposed based on coin and pottery findings, cana is famous for the frequent presence and miracles of Christ. But away with conjecture, when it too bold. Chorazin is now the site of a National Archaeological Park, extensive excavations and a survey were carried out in 1962-1964.
Excavations at the site were resumed in 1980-1987, the site is an excavated ruin today, but was inhabited starting in the 1st century. It is associated with modern-day Kerazeh, the majority of the structures are made from black basalt, a volcanic rock found locally. The main settlement dates to the 3rd and 4th centuries, a mikvah, or ritual bath, was found at the site. The handful of olive millstones used in oil extraction found suggest a reliance on the olive for economic purposes. The towns ruins are spread over an area of 25 acres, subdivided into five separate quarters, the large, impressive Synagogue which was built with black basalt stones and decorated with Jewish motifs is the most striking survival. Close by is a bath, surrounded by public and residential buildings. In 1926, archaeologists discovered the Seat of Moses, carved from a basalt block, according to the New Testament, this is where the reader of the Torah sat. In May–June 2004, a salvage excavation was conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority along the route of an ancient road north of Moshav Amnun.
In the literature, the road is referred to as “The Way through Korazim. ”It crossed the Chorazin plateau from west to east, the only synagogue visible today was built in the late 3rd century, destroyed in the 4th century, and rebuilt in the 6th century
Banias is the Arabic and modern Hebrew name of an ancient site that developed around a spring once associated with the Greek god Pan. It is located at the foot of Mount Hermon, north of the Golan Heights, the spring is the source of the Banias River, one of the main tributaries of the Jordan River. The first mention of the ancient city during the Hellenistic period was in the context of the Battle of Panium, fought around 200-198 BCE, the region was called Paneas. Both names were derived from that of Pan, the god of the wild, the spring at Banias initially originated in a large cave carved out of a sheer cliff face which was gradually lined with a series of shrines. The temenos included in its final phase a temple placed at the mouth of the cave, courtyards for rituals and it was constructed on an elevated, 80m long natural terrace along the cliff which towered over the north of the city. A four-line inscription at the base of one of the niches relates to Pan and Echo, the mountain nymph, and was dated to 87 BCE.
The once very large spring gushed from the cave, but an earthquake moved it to the foot of the natural terrace where it now seeps quietly from the bedrock. From here the stream, called Nahal Hermon in Hebrew, flows towards what once were the malaria-infested Hula marshes, the pre-Hellenistic deity associated with the spring of Banias was variously called Baal-gad or Baal-hermon. Paneas was first settled in the Hellenistic period following Alexander the Greats conquest of the east, the Ptolemaic kings built a cult centre there in the 3rd century BC. In the Hellenistic Period the spring was named Panias, for the Arcadian goat-footed god Pan, the Latin equivalent for Paneas is Fanium. The spring lies close to the way of the sea mentioned by Isaiah, in extant sections of the Greek historian Polybiuss history of The Rise of the Roman Empire, a Battle of Panium is mentioned. This battle was fought in ca, 200-198 BC between the armies of Ptolemaic Egypt and the Seleucids of Coele-Syria, led by Antiochus III.
Antiochuss victory cemented Seleucid control over Phoenicia, Samaria and it was these Seleucids who built a pagan temple dedicated to Pan at Paneas. Upon Zenodoruss death in 20 BC, the Panion, including Paneas, was annexed to the Kingdom of Herod the Great, Herod erected a temple of white marble there n honour of his patron. In 61 CE, king Agrippa II renamed the administrative capital Neronias in honour of the Roman emperor Nero, Agrippa carried out urban improvements. In 67CE, during the First Jewish–Roman War, Vespasian briefly visited Caesarea Philippi before advancing on Tiberias in Galilee, with the death of Agrippa II around the year 92 came the end of Herodian rule, and the city returned to the province of Syria. In the late Roman and Byzantine periods the written sources name the city again as Paneas, in 361, Emperor Julian the Apostate instigated a religious reformation of the Roman state, in which he supported the restoration of Hellenic paganism as the state religion. In Paneas this was achieved by replacing Christian symbols, though the change was short lived, in the 5th century, following the division of the Empire, the city was part of the Eastern Empire, but was lost to the Arab expansion of the 7th century
Israel, officially the State of Israel, is a country in the Middle East, on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. The country contains geographically diverse features within its small area. Israels economy and technology center is Tel Aviv, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, in 1947, the United Nations adopted a Partition Plan for Mandatory Palestine recommending the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states and an internationalized Jerusalem. The plan was accepted by the Jewish Agency for Palestine, next year, the Jewish Agency declared the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel. Israel has since fought several wars with neighboring Arab states, in the course of which it has occupied territories including the West Bank, Golan Heights and it extended its laws to the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem, but not the West Bank. Israels occupation of the Palestinian territories is the worlds longest military occupation in modern times, efforts to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict have not resulted in peace.
However, peace treaties between Israel and both Egypt and Jordan have successfully been signed, the population of Israel, as defined by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, was estimated in 2017 to be 8,671,100 people. It is the worlds only Jewish-majority state, with 74. 8% being designated as Jewish, the countrys second largest group of citizens are Arabs, at 20. 8%. The great majority of Israeli Arabs are Sunni Muslims, including significant numbers of semi-settled Negev Bedouins, other minorities include Arameans, Assyrians, Black Hebrew Israelites, Circassians and Samaritans. Israel hosts a significant population of foreign workers and asylum seekers from Africa and Asia, including illegal migrants from Sudan, Eritrea. In its Basic Laws, Israel defines itself as a Jewish, Israel is a representative democracy with a parliamentary system, proportional representation and universal suffrage. The prime minister is head of government and the Knesset is the legislature, Israel is a developed country and an OECD member, with the 35th-largest economy in the world by nominal gross domestic product as of 2016.
The country benefits from a skilled workforce and is among the most educated countries in the world with one of the highest percentage of its citizens holding a tertiary education degree. The country has the highest standard of living in the Middle East and the third highest in Asia, in the early weeks of independence, the government chose the term Israeli to denote a citizen of Israel, with the formal announcement made by Minister of Foreign Affairs Moshe Sharett. The names Land of Israel and Children of Israel have historically used to refer to the biblical Kingdom of Israel. The name Israel in these phrases refers to the patriarch Jacob who, jacobs twelve sons became the ancestors of the Israelites, known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel or Children of Israel. The earliest known artifact to mention the word Israel as a collective is the Merneptah Stele of ancient Egypt. The area is known as the Holy Land, being holy for all Abrahamic religions including Judaism, Islam
National parks and nature reserves of Israel
National parks of Israel are declared historic sites or nature reserves, which are mostly operated and maintained by the National Nature and Parks Authority. As of 2005, Israel maintains more than 150 nature reserves that protect 2,500 species of wild plants,20 species of fish,400 species of birds and 70 species of mammals. Some parks are located at sites such as Tel Megiddo, Beit Shean, Ashkelon. Others, such as the Alexander stream, Mount Carmel National Park or Hurshat Tal focus on nature, several parks and nature reserves have camping options, such as tent grounds and bungalows, open to small groups and individual campers. Some of them are located in the Golan Heights and the West Bank, in 2011, the most popular national parks were Yarkon National Park, Ein Gedi and Tel Dan. During the 19th century, the region had a population of between 275,000 and 475,000. Waves of immigration expanded local population needs, forests were cut down to supply coal for heating and the Turkish railway. The German Templers brought with them shotguns, quickly adopted by local peasants for hunting wildlife, the First World War was characterized by massive acquisition of firearms, and German officers were very active hunters.
By the early 20th century, hunting threatened the extinction of crocodile, Arabian ostrich, roe deer, fallow deer, Syrian brown bear, and onager. The Asiatic lion had been extinct in Palestine since around the Crusader period in the 10-13th centuries, Asiatic cheetah was last observed in 1959 and the Rabian leopard is currently acutely threatened by extinction. As a result, the British Mandatory government passed laws aimed at saving the local flora, in 1924 a Hunting Act was published and in 1926 a Forest Ordinance were published. Many sites, such as the forests of Mount Carmel and Mount Meron, were declared forest reserves, in 1953 the Knesset passed the Wildlife Protection Law and the Minister of Agriculture was appointed for its implementation. In 1955, the department for the improvement of the landscape was established in the Israeli Prime Ministers Office. The department established a number of national parks, such as Gan HaShlosha, Shivta. Following the ecologically disastrous drying of Lake Hula and the public pressure, the Hula Reserve was established in 1964.
In 1963 the Knesset approved the National parks and nature reserves act, as a result, two authorities were established, the National Parks Authority and the Nature Reserves Authority. In 1998 the two authorities were merged into one body - Israel Nature and Parks Authority, in Israel the distinction between national parks and nature reserves is often hard to make. National parks are in most cases centered around archaeological sites, the nature reserves often contain not just protected fauna and flora, but major archaeological sites
Khirbat al-Minya is an Umayyad-built palace in the eastern Galilee, located about 200 meters west of the northern end of Lake Tiberias. It was erected as a complex, with a palace, mosque. The site is the only Umayyad ruin in Israeli territory with remains above the ground, Khirbat al-Minya was likely built during the reign of the Umayyad caliph al-Walid I and an inscription on a stone found at the site mentions his name. This makes the mosque one of the earliest to be built in Palestine. Khirbat al-Minya served a number of purposes, including as local administrative center for a subregion of the Jund al-Urdunn and as a point for Umar. It could have served as a caravanserai for traveling along the Sea of Galilee or northeast from the lake shore to the coast. Another purpose of Khirbat al-Minya was a retreat for the governor of Tiberias or an alternative for the traditional summer retreat for the governor at Baysan. Khirbat al-Minya was abandoned at a date, but was temporarily resettled. There is evidence that the palace was in use until at least the end of the Umayyad period in 750 CE, a strong earthquake hit the region, probably in the 749 Galilee earthquake.
This damaged the building, causing a rift to run through the wing, going straight through the mosques mihrab. The damage in the niche were never repaired and it thus remains uncertain whether the palace was ever finished, Fallen debris from the earthquake was discovered in the 20th century in situ on the floor tiles of the main entry. The unused raw materials of a mosaic builder were found in the antechamber of the mosque, based on the stratification established in the western part of the site and the discovery of Mamluk pottery in 1959, the palace was settled again during the late Mamluk period. It is likely that the building was used as a khan in this period, a Khan al-Minya was constructed 300 m due north of the palace by Saif al-Din Tankiz, the Mamluk governor of Syria, during the reign of Al-Nasir Muhammad. Parts of Khirbat al-Minya might have used as building material for the new khan, baked bricks. Parts of the ruin were used as a reservoir and a large brick oven was built in the south wing.
In the 19th century locals built huts on the rubble heaps, in the second half of the 19th century, Charles William Wilson and other European travelers discovered ancient ruins among the huts of a local Fellah settlement. Some thought it to be Capernaum, where according to the New Testament Jesus had taught at the local synagogue. This was likely an argument for the purchase of the area along with nearby Tell el-Oreme, by the Deutscher Verein vom Heiligen Lande, identifying a large quadratic structure with outer walls and corner towers, he thought it to be a Roman fort or castrum