HEBRON, West Bank | On an ancient hill dotted with 1,000-year-old olive trees, Israelis are busy excavating in search of the first palace of King David in the heart of the West Bank.
The Jewish settlers who started the dig with the help of Israel’s Antiquities Authority say they want to turn it into an archaeological park to celebrate its historical significance.
But for Palestinians who hope the West Bank will someday form part of a Palestinian state, the move is a grab not only for land but also for their past – a ploy to cut them out of history and away from land they say is rightfully theirs.
The Bible says David, the second king of the United Kingdom of Israel and Judah, first ruled in Hebron before conquering Jerusalem to the north.
“You come to see where King David started his first palace, it blows you away. I don’t know, it blows me away!” said David Wilder, spokesman for the Jewish community in Hebron.
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