April 15, 2018
The Palestinian government and international organizations started a major excavation to restore St. Hilarion Monastery, locally known as Tell Umm Amer, in the central Gaza Strip, Palestine’s oldest and largest Christian monument.
The project, which started in January and is expected to take up to two years, is supervised and funded by the British Council's Cultural Protection Fund. Partners of the project include French nongovernmental organization Premiere Urgence Internationale (PUI) as well as the University of Palestine, the Islamic University of Gaza and the French Biblical and Archaeological School in Jerusalem. The project also includes the restoration of a Byzantine church in Jabaliya in the Gaza Strip.
The monastery’s founding text, which was discovered in excavations supervised by the Palestinian Authority in 1994, reveals that the St. Hilarion Monastery was the first Christian landmark in Palestine. It dates back to Hilarion, the founder of Palestinian monasticism.
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