Excavations this summer in the Late Roman (fifth century) synagogue at Huqoq, an ancient Jewish village in Israel’s Lower Galilee, have revealed stunning new mosaics that decorated the floor. The excavations are directed by Jodi Magness, a professor in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill College of Arts and Sciences, along with Assistant Director Shua Kisilevitz of the Israel Antiquities Authority.
The mosaic panels decorating the floor of the synagogue’s nave (center of the hall) portray two biblical stories: Noah’s Ark and the parting of the Red Sea. The panel with Noah’s Ark depicts an ark and pairs of animals, including elephants, leopards, donkeys, snakes, bears, lions, ostriches, camels, sheep and goats. The scene of the parting of the Red Sea shows Pharaoh’s soldiers being swallowed by large fish, surrounded by overturned chariots with horses and chariot drivers.
“These scenes are very rare in ancient synagogues. The only other examples that have been found are at Gerasa/Jerash in Jordan and Mopsuestia/Misis in Turkey (Noah’s Ark), and at Khirbet Wadi Hamam in Israel and Dura Europos in Syria (the parting of the Red Sea).” – Jodi Magness, Kenan Distinguished Professor
A missile from the Israeli Iron Dome, launched during the Operation Pillar of Defense to intercept a missile coming from the Gaza strip. (Flickr)
Story from Yahoo (via Reuters).
The United States has tested the short-range interceptor missile used by Israel’s Iron Dome system with a view to incorporating it or a future American counterpart in European-based air defences against Russia, a U.S. Army general said on Monday.
Developed with funding help from Washington, Iron Dome has had a 90 percent shoot-down rate against Palestinian rockets, Israeli and U.S. officials say. But the system’s $50 million unit price and limited reach have dampened its export appeal.
Visiting Israel, Major-General Glenn Bramhall of the U.S. Army’s Air and Missile Defense Command said he saw a new need to complement his corps’ mid-range Patriot and THAAD interceptors with a thrifty system for less powerful missile threats.
To that end, he said, U.S. assessors have test-launched Iron Dome’s interceptor missile, “Tamir”, which is jointly manufactured by Massachusetts firm Raytheon Co. and Israel’s state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.
Comments from Fatah official spark a furious warning of repercussions from a senior Israeli officer.
An aide to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called for gruesome violence against Israelis on Monday, sparking a scathing response from an Israeli official.
“Wherever you find an Israeli, slit his throat.” – Sultan Abu al-Einein, an adviser to Abbas on civil society organizations and a Fatah Central Committee member, said during an interview with the Palestinian news site Donia al-Watan
The comment from the senior Fatah official came in response to a question about normalization between members of his party and Israel.
When asked what he thought about normalization with Israel and Palestinian officials taking part in Israeli conferences, Abu al-Einein said: “If you ask me my blunt position, I would say — every place you find an Israeli, slit his throat. Likewise, I am against talks, negotiations, meetings, and normalization in all its forms with the Israeli occupation.”