A Stone-Age City Provides a Glimpse at the Land of Israel before the Time of Abraham

Israeli archaeologists announced earlier this week their discovery of a 9,000-year-old settlement near Jerusalem, the largest found anywhere in the Levant to date. Citing Jacob Vardi, one of the excavation’s co-directors, Amanda Borschel-Dan writes:

“It’s a game changer, a site that will drastically shift what we know about the Neolithic era,” said Vardi. [Until now], “it was believed that the area of Judea was empty, and that sites of that size existed only on the other bank of the Jordan river, or in the northern Levant. Instead of an uninhabited area from that period, we have found a complex site, where varied economic means of subsistence existed,” [said] Vardi and co-director Hamoudi Khalaily.

Roughly half a kilometer from one end to the other, the site would have housed an estimated population of some 3,000 residents. . . . [T]he people who lived in this town had trade and cultural connections with widespread populations, including Anatolia, which is the origin of the obsidian artifacts discovered at the site. Other excavated material indicates intensive hunting, animal husbandry, and agriculture.

In addition to prehistoric tools such as thousands of arrowheads, axes, sickle blades, and knives, storage sheds containing large stores of legumes, especially lentils, were uncovered. . . . [A] number of small statues were [also] unearthed, including clay figurines of an ox and of a stone face.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Ancient Israel, Archaeology, Prehistory

Hizballah Is Learning Israel’s Weak Spots

On Tuesday, a Hizballah drone attack injured three people in northern Israel. The next day, another attack, targeting an IDF base, injured eighteen people, six of them seriously, in Arab al-Amshe, also in the north. This second attack involved the simultaneous use of drones carrying explosives and guided antitank missiles. In both cases, the defensive systems that performed so successfully last weekend failed to stop the drones and missiles. Ron Ben-Yishai has a straightforward explanation as to why: the Lebanon-backed terrorist group is getting better at evading Israel defenses. He explains the three basis systems used to pilot these unmanned aircraft, and their practical effects:

These systems allow drones to act similarly to fighter jets, using “dead zones”—areas not visible to radar or other optical detection—to approach targets. They fly low initially, then ascend just before crashing and detonating on the target. The terrain of southern Lebanon is particularly conducive to such attacks.

But this requires skills that the terror group has honed over months of fighting against Israel. The latest attacks involved a large drone capable of carrying over 50 kg (110 lbs.) of explosives. The terrorists have likely analyzed Israel’s alert and interception systems, recognizing that shooting down their drones requires early detection to allow sufficient time for launching interceptors.

The IDF tries to detect any incoming drones on its radar, as it had done prior to the war. Despite Hizballah’s learning curve, the IDF’s technological edge offers an advantage. However, the military must recognize that any measure it takes is quickly observed and analyzed, and even the most effective defenses can be incomplete. The terrain near the Lebanon-Israel border continues to pose a challenge, necessitating technological solutions and significant financial investment.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Hizballah, Iron Dome, Israeli Security