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Vandals damage mosaic floor at ancient synagogue (JERUSALEM POST) By JPOST COM STAFF 05/30/12)Source: http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=271844 JERUSALEM POST JERUSALEM POST Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
Vandals damaged an ancient mosaic floor and spray painted walls at the fourth century CE synagogue located at the Hamat Tiberias heritage site in the Galilee overnight Monday.

Police were investigating the incident and seeking suspects. The vandals wrote messages apparently directed against the director- general of the Israel Antiquities Authority, Shuka Dorfman and in protest of archaeological digging at the graves of ancient rabbis.

The Hamat Tiberias synagogue is administered to by the National Parks Authority. It is believed to have been built in the Sanhedrin period, in the fourth century CE.

The synagogue´s mosaic floor, which was damaged by the vandals, is the earliest such synagogue mosaic in the country, according to the National Parks Authority.

The park and synagogue is at the southern entrance to Tiberias across from the Tiberias Hot Springs.

The Parks Authority said Tuesday that the vandals caused millions of shekels of damage to the synagogue.

National Parks Authority director Shaul Goldstein said in response to the vandalism, "We will work to bring the criminals to justice and together with our partners in preserving heritage sites in Israel, the Antiquities Authority, we will fix the great damage done to the site." (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 05/30/12)

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