Facebook Twitter Whatsapp Email
Irit Segoli reporting and photos

Who used to visit the Sheikh Issa Maqam? To whom did the plot on which it was erected belong? When and by whom was it destroyed? Since when is there no access to it by the inhabitants of the neighboring villages Mazra’a el Qabaliya  and Janiya?

All these questions still require some research work. (We would be glad to receive the assistance of inhabitants of these two villages who own phones).

Today access to the Maqam, and to the hill that is also a huge archeological site, is only by way of the Talmon settlement gate. The ID card of the driver from Kaf’r Kassem was punctiliously checked. On the internet, map “Cloud Pillar” (Amud Anan), attached, one can see Talmon North, Talmon, and again Talmon – i.e. three blocks of buildings, and not even one indication that the archeological site is situated in the settlement's control zone.

At the bird’s eye lookout situated on the top of the mountain facing the sea, the audio guide recites that “this is the security belt of the Dan zone”. You are protected!

Nearby, ancient wineries, a columbarium, and other invaluable assets of human culture are ready and waiting for the beginning of the excavations. The excavations will presumably be conducted by the large Department of Archeology, established in advance at the Ariel university. I received this information from Gideon Suleimani, from Emek Shave, whom and I met at the site, together with Salah, on my way to the meeting at Nebi Salah.

At Nebi Salah, at Naji’s house, we met the landowner of the archeological site “Huvlata” at Halamish. W. brought us the copy of the document that proves this. He is interested in advancing an accessibility demand which would be done in his name. Nobody did, of course, inform him and ask for his permission to make an archeological excavation on his plot – as required by law. 70 dunams were confiscated from him. He makes a living as a taxi driver. After extensive confiscations at Nebi Salah and the division of the plots among many family members, there is no way of making a living from agriculture, Naji explained.

The massive building drive at the Leshem settlement (near Aley Zahav) caught my attention on the way to Talmon, and we returned to photograph there. Judging by the license plates the builders there are Palestinians. “They have no choice,” 22-year-old Muhamed from Kafr Kassem says. In the center of the settlement, there is an enormous antiquities site named “Dir Sam’an” which also appears in the publications of the settlement. We shall return and study this topic.

The map of the Cloud Pillar, the settlement of Talmon and the Maqam of Shekih Issa.

mao sheich Isa


The Sheih Issa Maqam

maqam sheich isa





New buildings at the Leshem settlement

leshem  set.


The map of the area in which the Leshem settlement is situated. Taken from their site publication. No mention of the Palestinian villages. It is recommended to read the column “the neighbourhood” on the page below.