Responding to mounting complaints from tourists and other visitors, a new authority has been established to oversee the proper maintenance of the holy sites throughout Israel.
The National Center for Holy Places was set up at the personal initiative of Zevulun Hammer, minister for religious affairs, and will be part of his ministry.
Oded Wiener, a geographer, has been appointed its director. The center will be responsible for the physical upkeep of 48 officially designated holy sites around the country.
Until now, there has been no nationally established criteria for their maintenance and operation.
The establishment of the center culminates years of campaigning by individuals, newspapers and groups to improve the dilapidated condition of many sacred sites, particularly in the Galilee.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.