The Mysteries of Jerusalem’s Ancient Moat

Located just south of the Temple Mount, the City of David is the oldest part of Jerusalem; its original buildings predated King David’s conquest of the city, described in the book of Samuel, by hundreds of years. The area has yielded countless archaeological discoveries, including most recently the remains of a moat separating the city from the Temple Mount, which dates at least to the 10th century BCE (the putative era of David and Solomon), and possibly as far back as the beginning of the second millennium BCE. Nathan Steinmeyer writes:

The moat would have provided a natural defense against enemies attacking Jerusalem from the north. Notably, the moat’s southern scarp is cut at a vertical angle while its northern scarp was made into a series of rock terraces. Such a defensive structure would have been very important, as the southern ridge (the City of David) sits at a slightly lower elevation than the area of the Temple Mount. . . . It remains unclear, however, where exactly ancient Jerusalem was located and, as such, whether the moat had a defensive function or served some other purpose.

It seems more apparent, however, that by the 9th century BCE, the moat had come to serve as a physical barrier . . . to separate Jerusalem’s acropolis from its lower city. This barrier appears to have remained in place until the late 2nd century BCE, when it was finally filled in and covered over to allow for new construction.

Read more at Bible History Daily

More about: Ancient Israel, Archaeology, Jerusalem


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