NABLUS (Ma'an) – The Palestinian ministries of tourism and education have dropped the archaeological sites in the village of Sebastia west of Nablus from the list of destinations recommended during school trips, the mayor of Sebastia said.
Nael al-Shaer told Ma'an on Monday that "We obtained a list of recommended sites which the Ministry of Education released recently, and the list doesn't include Sebastia."
He added that he contacted officials in the ministries of tourism and education as well as the civil defense services, but couldn't get a conclusive answer.
"Every side was putting the blame on others," he said.
The mayor threatened to start protective procedures if the archaeological sites in his village are not included in the list.
Sebastia is located some 12 kilometers northwest of Nablus. It is home to a number of important archaeological sites. The ancient site of Samaria-Sebaste is located just above the built up area of the modern-day village on the eastern slope of the hill. The ruins dominate the hillside and comprise remains from successive cultures dating back thousands of years.
In response, the director of the Nablus office of the Ministry of Education Muhammad Awwad blamed the municipality of Sebastia for the absence of the village's archaeological sites from the list of recommended sites for school trips.
"The municipal council is responsible because they didn't ask the civil defense to make sure that the sites are safe for school children to visit."