Category Archives: ISRAEL

1,500-Year-Old Mosaic Depicts Jesus Feeding 5000 People Unearthed Near The Galilee Sea

1,500-Year-Old Mosaic Depicts Jesus Feeding 5000 People Unearthed Near The Galilee Sea

A 1,500-year-old mosaic depicting Jesus’s feeding of the five thousand has been unearthed during an excavation of an ancient city near the Sea of Galilee. The discovery of the so-called Burnt Church in Hippos, northern Israel, has enthralled archaeologists who have spent the summer combing it for historical evidence. 

A fire destroyed the fifth-century church in 700AD but the mosaic-paved floor has been remarkably preserved throughout the centuries by a layer of ash.

Located in the heart of the Holy Land, Hippos overlooks the Sea of Galilee – also known as the Kinneret – where it was once the site of a Greco-Roman city.

1,500-Year-Old Mosaic Depicts Jesus Feeding 5000 People Unearthed Near The Galilee Sea
A 2,000-year-old mosaic depicting Jesus’s feeding of the five thousand has been unearthed during an excavation of an ancient city near the Sea of Galilee
The discovery of the so-called Burnt Church in Hippos, northern Israel, has enthralled archaeologists who have spent the summer combing it for historical evidence

The mosaic purports to capture one of the miracles referred to in the New Testament where Jesus used just five loaves and two fish to feed 5,000 people gathered on the banks of the water. 

A team from the University of Haifa found the Burnt Church in 2005, but only began the dig this summer.

Head archaeologist Dr Michael Eisenburg said: ‘There can certainly be different explanations to the descriptions of loaves and fish in the mosaic, but you cannot ignore the similarity to the description in the New Testament.

‘For example, from the fact that the New Testament has a description of five loaves in a basket or the two fish depicted in the apse, as we find in the mosaic.’

He added that the generally accepted location of the miracle performed by Christ may have to be reconsidered in light of the new evidence. 

A team from the University of Haifa found the Burnt Church in 2005, but only began the dig this summer
A fire destroyed the fifth-century church in 700AD but the mosaic-paved floor has been remarkably preserved throughout the centuries by a layer of ash

The historian said: Nowadays, we tend to regard the Church of the Multiplication in Tabgha on the north-west of the Sea of Galilee as the location of the miracle, but with a careful reading of the New Testament it is evident that it might have taken place north of Hippos within the city’s region. 

‘According to the scripture, after the miracle, Jesus crossed the water to the northwest of the Sea of Galilee, to the area of Tabgha/Ginosar, so that the miracle had to take place at the place where he began the crossing rather than at the place he finished it. 

‘In addition, the mosaic at the Church of Multiplication has a depiction of two fish and a basket with only four loaves, while in all places in the New Testament which tell of the miracle, there are five loaves of bread, as found in the mosaic in Hippos. 

‘In addition, the mosaic at the burnt church has a depiction of 12 baskets, and the New Testament also describes the disciples who, at the end of the miracle, were left with 12 baskets of bread and fish.

‘There is no doubt that the local community was well familiar with the two miracles of Feeding the Multitude and perhaps knew their estimated locations better than us.’

After centuries of falling into the hands of several empires and religious groups, Hippos was abandoned in around 600AD when an earthquake devastated the hilltop city.

Israeli archaeologists find Roman, medieval treasures in ancient shipwrecks off the Mediterranean coast

Israeli archaeologists find Roman, medieval treasures in ancient shipwrecks off Mediterranean coast

Archaeologists in Israel have discovered the remnants of two shipwrecks off the Mediterranean coast, replete with a sunken trove of hundreds of Roman and medieval silver coins.

Israeli archaeologists find Roman, medieval treasures in ancient shipwrecks off Mediterranean coast
A gold ring with a green gemstone engraved with the figure of the good shepherd was discovered submerged at Caesarea harbour.

The finds made near the ancient city of Caesarea were dated to the Roman and Mamluk periods, about 1,700 and 600 years ago, archaeologists said.

They include hundreds of Roman silver and bronze coins dating to the mid-third century, as well as more than 500 silver coins from the middle ages, found amid the sediment.

An aerial view of the Caesarea port.

They were found during an underwater survey conducted by the Israel Antiquities Authority’s marine archaeology unit in the past two months, said Jacob Sharvit, the head of the unit, on Wednesday.

Among the other artefacts recovered from the site near the ancient city of Caesarea were figurines, bells, ceramics, and metal artefacts that once belonged to the ships, such as nails and a shattered iron anchor.

The underwater discovery of a gemstone submerged at Caesarea harbour.

The IAA underscored the discovery of a Roman gold ring, its green gemstone carved with the figure of a shepherd carrying a sheep on his shoulders.

Robert Cole, the head of the authority’s coin department, called the item “exceptional.”

The IAA uncovered the ancient treasures from the wrecks of two ships.

“On the gemstone is engraved an image of the ‘good shepherd’, which is really one of the earliest symbols of Christianity,” he said.

Sharvit said that the Roman ship was believed to have originally hailed from Italy, based on the style of some of the artefacts. He said it was still unclear whether any remnants of the wooden ships remained intact beneath the sands.

This was once onE of ancient Israel’s most powerful cities

This was once one of ancient Israel’s most powerful cities

Gezer used to be a major city. Some 3,000 years ago, this settlement – situated between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem – was considered one of the main regional cities, along with Jerusalem and Beit She’an.

This was once one of ancient Israel's most powerful cities
Down the rabbit hole: Visitors to Gezer’s ancient water system.

Twenty-five layers of habitation have been found here during decades of archaeological excavations. Its earliest structures were built about 5,500 years ago.

The Bible recounts how the king of Egypt “had taken Gezer and burnt it with fire,” giving it as a loving wedding gift to his daughter who married King Solomon (1 Kings 9:16). Solomon subsequently rebuilt the city.

There is always a crucial question when it comes to ancient sites: what can we see there today? Are these just piles of “important” ruins, or can you actually enjoy the place and is it interesting?

Tel Gezer offers several wonderful observation points.
It can get a bit dark in the ancient water system at Gezer.

With Gezer, the answer is a resounding yes – especially now its ancient water system is open to the public.

The residents of Gezer dug out this water system 3,600 years ago in order to reach groundwater. It’s the largest Canaanite water system ever discovered, established around 600 years before the presumed reign of King Solomon.

On the eastern side is Solomon’s Gate and the Canaanite steles, an area used for worshipping that features a stone basin and 10 huge stone monuments.

The first person to find it was the Irish archaeologist Robert Macalister, in the early 20th century. That excavation also yielded the Gezer calendar – one of the earliest Hebrew inscriptions, which is now on show in an Istanbul museum.

The water system was blocked over the years and only recently excavated. A new stairwell has been installed, allowing us to look and be amazed.

The system is 90 meters long and 7 meters high (295 x 23 feet), and groundwater is used to accumulate at the bottom, at a depth of some 40 meters. This pool is currently dry (you should bring a flashlight when visiting).

The water system is not the only attraction. There is also a Canaanite gate that served as the entryway into the city, flanked by a high guard tower.

These are the largest such fortifications found in Israel to date.

On the eastern side is Solomon’s Gate and the Canaanite steles, an area used for worshipping that features a stone basin and 10 huge stone monuments. The western end of the site boasts large jujube (Ziziphus) tree, providing pleasant shade.

Tel Gezer offers several wonderful observation points, allowing you to gaze over the green fields and beautiful vineyards surrounding the moshav of Karmei Yosef.

Tel Gezer seen from the air.

The western side also features the tomb of Sheikh Mohammed al-Ghazali. Up until 1948, 1,000 residents of the Arab village of Abu Shusha lived next to the archaeological mound.

They grew cereals and fruit trees. The village’s houses were all destroyed when the village was conquered during the War of Independence.

Spring can be found southeast of the site with a memorial honouring Itay Steinberger from Karmei Yosef, who fell during the Second Lebanon War in 2006.

Skeletons Found near-dead Sea Scrolls likely belonged to an Enigmatic Religious Group

Skeletons Found near-dead Sea Scrolls likely belonged to an Enigmatic Religious Group

More than 30 newly discovered 2,200-year-old skeletons could finally help to reveal who wrote the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls. Remains found near the site where the scrolls were discovered suggest the bodies were linked to a celibate Jewish brotherhood known as the Essenes.

The Dead Sea Scrolls have fascinated scholars and historians since the ancient texts were found around 70 years ago scattered within a series of caves in the West Bank.

Thought to have been written between 200 BC and 100 AD, the scrolls inscribe some of the oldest known foundations of the Old Testament.

Despite experts citing the texts as among the biggest archaeological finds of the 20th Century, their origins and authorship have remained a mystery for decades.

More than 30 newly discovered 2,200-year-old skeletons could finally help to reveal who wrote the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls. Remains found near the site where the scrolls (file photo) were discovered suggest they were linked to an ancient Jewish group known as the Essenes

Ever since their discovery, a number of suggestions have been put forward as to who created or oversaw the texts, including soldiers, craftsmen, people from the Iron Age, or Bedouins.

Now an analysis of remains found in 33 newly uncovered graves could help experts to understand the mysterious texts’ history.

Analyses of the bones support a previous theory that the scrolls were written or guarded by members of a celibate, all-male Jewish sect called the Essenes. The mysterious group flourished in Palestine from the 2nd century BC to the end of the 1st century AD.

Like the scrolls themselves, the graves were found in Qumran, an archaeological region in the West Bank along the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea. Anthropologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority in Jerusalem radiocarbon-dated the bones, revealing they are about 2,200 years old, around the same age as the scrolls.

But it was not just the age of the bones that linked them to the ancient texts.

All but three of the 33 skeletons were identified as probably male, based on factors such as body size and pelvic shape.

The Dead Sea Scrolls have fascinated scholars and historians since the ancient texts were found around 70 years ago scattered within a series of caves in the West Bank

The remaining remains may have belonged to men too, but not enough skeletal evidence exists to be sure.

Of the 30 skeletons identified as male, each was aged between 20 and 50 – or possibly older – when they died.

These parallels suggest the skeletons were once members of the mysterious Essenes crypt, the researchers claimed.

‘I don’t know if these were the people who produced the Qumran region’s Dead Sea Scrolls,’ project scientist Dr Yossi Nagar told ScienceNews.

‘But the high concentration of adult males of various ages buried at Qumran is similar to what has been found at cemeteries connected to Byzantine monasteries.’

Given the lack of signs of injury on their bones, the men were unlikely to have been soldiers, the researchers said. Dr Nagar presented the findings last Thursday during the annual meeting of the American Schools of Oriental Research.

As there appear to be no women in the burial, the group was likely a ‘community of ideologically celibate men… child proportion and adult age at death distribution match the common desert monasteric societies of the subsequent periods’, the researchers, led by Dr Nagar, wrote in their paper.

Previous finds at sites around Qumran have suggested it was founded more than 2,700 years ago. The people of Qumran abandoned the area after the war tore the region apart, returning to reoccupy it for 200 years, up to around 68 AD. An early theory on the creation of the Dead sea Scrolls claimed that members of an ancient, celibate Jewish sect, the Essenes, lived in Qumran.

Thought to have been written between 200 BC and 100 AD, the scrolls inscribe some of the oldest known foundations of the Old Testament

The theory says the group either wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls or were caretakers of the legal, philosophical and religious documents. Over the past 30 years, many other theories have been put forward, including that the scrolls were written by Bedouin herders, craftsmen and Roman soldiers. 

Israel Returns Smuggled Artifacts to Egypt

Israel Returns Smuggled Artifacts to Egypt

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on Thursday presented his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry with dozens of Egyptian relics that were illegally smuggled into Israel. Lapid met Shoukry in Cairo after first holding talks with President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.

Eli Eskozido, Director of the Israel Antiquities Authority, joined Lapid to hand over the 95 artefacts, which included two stone tablets with hieroglyphic writing, a piece of a sarcophagus with hieroglyphics, papyrus documents and dozens of small idols of Egyptian gods.

The items were laid out on a table covered in a green tablecloth as Eskozido and Lapid officially transferred them over to Egypt.

Four of the relics were nabbed by Israeli customs agents in 2013 as an Israeli antiquities dealer tried to bring them into the country through Ben Gurion Airport after purchasing them in Oxford, England. Israel alerted Egyptian authorities through Interpol, and after a legal battle, the relics were handed over to Israel in 2015.

The other Egyptian artefacts were found in a Jerusalem antiquities dealership in August 2013. IAA and Foreign Ministry officials met with Egypt’s ambassador in September of that year and agreed to conduct a joint investigation.

The next month, 91 relics were seized from the shop. During the ensuing legal process, Egypt sent documentation of the artefacts and expert opinion from Yousef Hamed Khalifa, the director of Cairo and Giza for the Egyptian Tourism and Antiquities Ministry.

As a compromise, the dealer handed the items over to Israeli authorities.

IAA head Eli Eskozido (L) and IAA Robbery Prevention Unit head Amir Ganor examine looted Egyptian artifacts returned to Egypt by Eskozido and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (Yoli Schwartz/IAA)

“The Antiquities Authority praises Foreign Minister Lapid’s initiative and is happy it was able to help the Egyptian authorities return to the Egyptian people Egyptian cultural artefacts that were stolen from Egypt,” Eskozido said in a statement.

“Israel and the Antiquities Authority are interested in working in concert with the Egyptian authorities to protect archaeological treasures that belong to humanity’s culture. It is vital to act to stymie the stealing of antiquities and the illegal trade in antiquities across the world.

The IAA is eager to tighten cooperation with the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities on archaeology and research.”

Earlier in the day, Lapid met with Sissi in Cairo, where the two discussed the Iranian threat and Israel’s attempts to reach a long-term ceasefire agreement with the Hamas terror group in Gaza.

Some of the 95 looted artifacts returned to Egypt by Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and IAA head Eli Eskozido, December 9, 2021 (Yoli Schwartz/IAA)

Lapid and Sissi spoke about Tehran’s nuclear program and the threat to regional stability posed by its support for armed proxy groups, according to the Foreign Ministry.

Lapid also presented his vision for Gaza, which would offer economic incentives in return for an end to Hamas attacks, and discussed the issue of Israeli civilians and the remains of two Israeli soldiers being held in the Strip.

“Egypt is an especially important strategic partner for Israel,” Lapid said in a statement after the meeting. “My goal is to strengthen our security, diplomatic, and economic ties with Egypt.

It is important to continue to work on the peace between the two nations.

I thank President Sissi, whose contribution to the region and to the ties between us are of historic proportions, for the hospitality, and for the warm and open meeting.”

Some of the 95 stolen artefacts returned to Egypt by Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and IAA head Eli Eskozido, December 9, 2021 (Yoli Schwartz/IAA)

Lapid previously met with Shoukry in July, when the two men were in Brussels for an EU conference.

Lapid’s visit to Egypt follows Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s meeting at Sharm el-Sheikh with Sissi in September, the first such summit between Israeli and Egyptian leaders in more than a decade.

Researchers in Israel have discovered an intact chicken egg laid about 1,000 years ago—though the delicate object cracked in the lab

Researchers in Israel have discovered an intact chicken egg laid about 1,000 years ago—though the delicate object cracked in the lab

Researchers in Israel have discovered an intact chicken egg laid about 1,000 years ago—though the delicate object cracked in the lab.

“We were astonished to find it,” Alla Nagorsky, an archaeologist with the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), tells Haaretz’s, Ruth Schuster. “From time to time we find fragments of eggshells, but a whole egg is extraordinary.”

The team discovered the egg in a cesspit in the industrial zone of the ancient city of Yavneh. As Amy Spiro reports for the Times of Israel, the egg remained unbroken for so long because it was pillowed in soft human waste, which created anaerobic, or oxygen-free, conditions and prevented its decay.

“Even today, eggs rarely survive for long in supermarket cartons,” says Nagorsky in a statement. “It’s amazing to think this is a 1,000-year-old find!”

Per the statement, the shell cracked despite staff taking “extreme caution” when removing it from the cesspit under the supervision of an experienced conservationist. Luckily, Ilan Naor, director of the IAA’s Organic Materials Conservation Laboratory, was able to repair the crack. While much of the egg’s contents leaked out, some of the yolks remained, and the researchers preserved it for future DNA analysis.

Alla Nagorsky and her colleagues examined the ancient egg.

The discovery was part of an excavation conducted ahead of the development of a new neighbourhood in the Israeli city. The cesspit also contained three dolls made out of bone—toys typical of the period—and an oil lamp.

Nagorsky tells Haaretz that the team was able to date the finds using the lamp, which was of a type only made in the late Abbasid period.

The Abbasid caliphate ruled much of the Middle East from 750 until the Mongol invasion of 1258. It lost control of Jerusalem when Europeans captured the city during the First Crusade in 1099.

Lee Perry Gal, an IAA archaeologist and expert on poultry in the ancient world, tells the Jerusalem Post’s Rossella Tercatin that broken eggshells are relatively common finds during excavations of ancient sites—but discovering a complete egg is extremely unusual.

“Chickens were domesticated in southeast Asia relatively recently, around 6,000 years ago, but it took time for them to enter the human diet,” she says. “They were used for other purposes, such as cockfighting, and they were considered beautiful animals, exhibited in ancient zoos and given as presents to kings.”

Perry Gal adds that one of the earliest known sites with evidence of chicken farming is also located in Israel. People living in Maresha appear to have raised the fowl 2,300 years ago, after Alexander the Great conquered Jerusalem.

In other ancient chicken news, Allison Robicelli of the Takeout reports that researchers examining 3,000-year-old bird bones found in Britain learned that domestic fowl of that time lived, on average, for 2 to 4 years. That’s much longer than the 33- to the 81-day lifespan of chickens in modern industrial farming systems. Writing in the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology, the researchers posit that the chickens were used in ritual sacrifices or cockfighting.

“Domestic fowl were introduced in the Iron Age and likely held a special status, where they were viewed as sacred rather than as food,” says lead author Sean Doherty, an archaeologist at the University of Exeter, in a statement. “Most chicken bones show no evidence for butchery, and were buried as complete skeletons rather than with other food waste.”

The findings build on previous evidence suggesting that early cultivation of animals often took place for reasons other than consumption, reported Rory Sullivan for CNN last year.

As Julius Caesar wrote in Commentarii de Bello Gallico, “The Britons consider it contrary to divine law to eat the hare, the chicken or the goose. They raise these, however, for their own amusement or pleasure.”

‘Beautiful’ 900-year-old Crusader sword discovered by a diver off the coast of Israel

‘Beautiful’ 900-year-old Crusader sword discovered by diver off the coast of Israel

A man diving off the coast of northern Israel, not far from his home, recently stumbled onto a 900-year-old sword dated to the time of the Crusades.

'Beautiful' 900-year-old Crusader sword discovered by diver off the coast of Israel
A diver discovered the 900-year-old sword in a natural cove off the coast of northern Israel.

Shlomi Katzin, a resident of the town of Atlit, spotted the sword and other centuries-old artefacts on the sea bed off the Carmel coast, where shifting sands had apparently made them suddenly visible, reports Nicky Blackburn for Israel21c.

The four-foot-long sword was covered in shells and other remnants of sea life. Katzin reported the discovery to the Israel Antiquities Authority’s (IAA) robbery prevention unit.

“The sword, which has been preserved in perfect condition, is a beautiful and rare find and evidently belonged to a Crusader knight,” says IAA inspector Nir Distelfeld in a statement.

“It was found encrusted with marine organisms but is apparently made of iron. It is exciting to encounter such a personal object, taking you 900 years back in time to a different era, with knights, armour and swords.”

Archaeologists had already been monitoring the area, a natural cove that offered shelter to ships for millennia, before Katzin’s find, reports Stuart Winer for the Times of Israel. Earlier discoveries have shown that the site was active as long as 4,000 years ago.

Shlomi Katzin discovered the sword while diving near his hometown.

Unpredictable conditions in the ocean often bring artefacts to the surface; a rise in the number of people diving recreationally in the area means that more of these objects have reemerged in recent years, says Koby Sharvit, director of the IAA’s marine archaeology unit, in the statement.

“Even the smallest storm moves the sand and reveals areas on the seabed, meanwhile burying others,” Sharvit adds.

In addition to the sword, Katzin spotted pottery fragments and stone and metal anchors, per the Jerusalem Post’s Rossella Tercatin.

Starting in the 11th century, leaders of European nations and the Roman Catholic Church sent Crusader armies to the Middle East to seize sites considered holy by Christians from Muslim rulers.

After the Muslim sultan Saladin retook Jerusalem from the Crusaders in 1187, England’s Richard I led an army against him, travelling south along Israel’s coast from Acre to Jaffa and winning what Richard Spencer of the London Times deems a “great but ultimately pyrrhic victory.”

The sword is encrusted with shells and marine organisms.

Since the sword is still covered in encrustations, it’s impossible to say much about it, Sa’ar Nudel, an archaeologist who studies weapons from the Crusades, tells Haaretz’s, Ruth Schuster. The Crusaders and their Muslim Ayyubid and Mamluk opponents all typically used straight swords of similar size and shape, archaeologist Rafi Lewis adds.

“The basic shape of the weapon, a straight sword, didn’t evolve much from the time of the Vikings to the 14th century,” he tells Haaretz.

According to Sharvit, the fact that the sword was found more than 600 feet from the coast suggests it was a Crusader’s weapon. Muslim forces built fortifications along the coast as defences against arriving Christian forces but didn’t travel by sea themselves.

“They destroyed the coastal cities so the Crusaders couldn’t return and reconquer the Holy Land,” the archaeologist says to Haaretz.

The sword is now in the hands of the IAA’s National Treasures Department, per Israel 21c. IAA scientists plan to clean and study the weapon before putting it on display to the public.

Gold and Amethyst Ring Discovered at Byzantine Winery

Gold and Amethyst Ring Discovered at Byzantine Winery

In the huge excavation conducted at Yavne by the Israel Antiquities Authority​, as part of the Israel Land Authority’s initiative to expand the city, a spectacular gold ring was recently uncovered, with an inlay of a purple stone.

An examination of the ring by Dr Yotam Asher at the analytical laboratory of the Israel Antiquities Authority showed that the stone is mostly made of silica – a material from which many gemstones are composed. This examination ruled out the possibility that the purple inlay is made simply of glass. The ring weighs 5.11 grammes.

Dr. Amir Golani, an expert on ancient jewellery at the Israel Antiquities Authority, who examined the find, said that “the person who owned the ring was affluent, and the wearing of the jewel indicated their status and wealth.

Such rings could be worn by both men and women”. Golani adds that, “a semi-precious stone, called an amethyst, was placed in the ring.

Amethysts are mentioned in Bible as one of the 12 precious stones worn by the high priest of the Temple on his ceremonial breastplate.  Many virtues have been attached to this gem, including the prevention of the side effect of drinking, the hangover”.

Gold and Amethyst Ring Discovered at Byzantine Winery
The spectacular gold ring with the inlaid semi-precious amethyst stone

This characteristic attributed to the stone is particularly interesting, given the context in which the ring was discovered, at a site where a huge winery operated, the largest in the world known from the Byzantine period.

“Did the person who wore the ring want to avoid intoxication due to drinking a lot of wine? We probably will never know,” says Dr. Elie Haddad, the director of the excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, together with Liat Nadav-Ziv and Dr. Jon Seligman, adding “the ring was found just 150 metres from the remains of a long warehouse, which was used to store wine jars (amphorae)”.

Some of the jars were found upside down on their mouths and it may have been a warehouse full of empty jars before they were taken to the winepresses, to fill with wine”.

It is possible that the splendid ring belonged to the owner of the magnificent warehouse, to a foreman, or simply to an unlucky visitor, who dropped and lost their precious ring, until it was finally discovered by us.”

Researchers are debating the date of the ring. It was found in a fill dated to the end of the Byzantine period and the beginning of the Early Islamic period – the 7th century CE, but it is possible that the ring, due to its beauty and prestige, was transmitted from generation to generation over the centuries.

READ ALSO: POSSIBLE CRUSADER CAMPSITE FOUND IN ISRAEL

Gold rings inlaid with amethyst stone are known in the Roman world, and it is possible that the ring’s find belongs to the elites who lived in the city as early as the 3rd century CE.

According to Eli Eskozido, director of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “The small, everyday finds that are discovered in our excavations tell us human stories and connect us directly to the past.

It is exciting to imagine that the man or woman to whom the ring belonged, walking right here, in a different reality to what we know in today’s city of Yavne”.