The first point of this post is that this is not news. It happened about five years ago or so. But it took me a few years after it occurred before I visited the site, and then a few more years before I got the idea to put a photo comparison here.

The Shephelah is full of caves, tunnels, and tombs. One of the nicest rolling stone tombs in the country was in the area of Khirbet Midras. This is how it used to look:

Some years ago, vandals destroyed the majority of the tomb. Most suspect that the vandalism was caused by ultra-Orthodox Jews, who are against the archaeological excavation of tombs. This is how the tomb looks now:

Of course, archaeological sites are being destroyed all the time, but not usually sites that are well-known and extraordinary. Sites are destroyed by 1) building contractors who don’t want the delay that would be caused by an excavation of their property; 2) looters who are looking for artifacts to sell; and 3) vandals. My guess is that the frequency is in the order listed.