Masada will not fall again - or will it?

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A section of the ancient walls of Masada, one of the country's most poignant symbols of survival, is in danger of collapse as a result of a heavy downpour that drenched the desert site three years ago, the Israel Nature and National Parks Protection Authority said Thursday.

The fortress, built as a palace by Herod the Great, who was King of Judea from 37 to 4 BCE, is situated atop an isolated rock cliff at the western end of the Judean Desert overlooking the Dead Sea, and was the site of the last stand of a group of Jews rebelling against Roman rule nearly 2,000 years ago.

Masada is used as a swearing-in site for some IDF combat units, who pledge that "Masada shall not fall again."

Several hundred meters of the 1,400-meter wall are in need of urgent repair as a result of the freak December 2003 winter storm, Masada Park director Eitan Campbell said.

"There is a growing danger that parts of the wall will collapse if they are not fixed," Campbell told The Jerusalem Post.

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