New Evidence Suggests Pontius Pilate Built a Road for Jewish Pilgrims

Built in Jerusalem’s City of David during the Second Temple period, the so-called “Pilgrimage Road” led from the Siloam pool to the Temple Mount. In a recent study of the coins found beneath the road, archaeologists have dated it to the tenure of Pontius Pilate—who, according to the New Testament, presided over the trial of Jesus—as the Roman governor of Judea, from roughly 26 to 37 CE. JNS reports:

According to Donald Ariel, an archaeologist and coin expert with the Israel Antiquities Authority, “Dating coins is very exact. As some coins have the year in which they were minted on them, what that means is that if a coin with a date on it is found beneath the street, the street had to be built in the same year or [in the year] after that coin had been minted.” . . .

He suggested the possibility that Pilate had the street built to reduce tensions between the Romans and the Jewish population. Although “we can’t know for sure,” he said, “these reasons do find support in the historical documents.”

Although the excavation of the road began more than a century ago following its discovery in 1894 by British archaeologists, in the past six years Israeli archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority and Tel Aviv University uncovered 350 meters of the road as well as artifacts such as coins, cooking pots, complete stone and clay tools, rare glass items, a dais used for public announcements, and parts of arrows and catapults.

Read more at JNS

More about: Ancient Israel, Archaeology, Jerusalem, New Testament, Second Temple

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