ABR Security Statement
ABR is closely monitoring the violence in Israel and the Palestinian controlled territories. While the violence is often contained in the Hamas controlled Gaza Strip and the coastal region of Israel, it has now spilled over into East Jerusalem and the West Bank where the Khirbet el-Maqatir excavation is located. Americans and other westerners are almost never the focus of violence, but we have growing concerns over the security for our guards and other Israeli staff members. Based on these developments, the Winter Dig has been canceled for 2015. There is a possibility that the Maqatir excavations may be postponed in May-June 2016. Presently, we are moving forward with our plans in prayer, as the situation could subside in the coming months. We are working on alternative plans to excavate elsewhere in Israel in 2016, such as Shiloh, Gezer, or the Temple Mount Sifting Project. These projects are all in very safe areas of Israel. If we decide to move our project to Shiloh, this would be a new ABR dig and would hopefully span several years. In any of these cases, we plan to take a group to Israel this coming summer.
While we are being careful to exercise due diligence with wisdom, we have a strong sense of God's providential hand guiding us as we plan for the future. We are confident that ABR will be excavating in Israel this summer, and we are excited about the possibility of you joining us. Please join us in prayer for peace in Israel and for wisdom in making these important decisions concerning our excavations.