As many as 90 percent of Palestinians in some areas have close genetic ties to Jews, according to researchers.

Ariella Oppenheim Ph.D., a researcher at Hebrew University and the Hadassah Medical School labs, has published the result of DNA studies which show that both the Palestinians and Jews are descended from the Kurds of Iraq and Turkey.

That should astonish no one since both the Bible and the Koran say the Jews and Arabs are descended from a common ancestor, an ancient Caldean who the Koran calls Ibrahim. The Bible says he was named Abraham.

Perhaps more surprising, Oppenheim found the Ashkenazi Jews from Europe are genetically closer to the Palestinians than Middle East Jews.

Oppenheim also isolated and traced the chromosome for the “priestly” Cohen line.

“We find that Arabs also carry this chromosome,” she noted in a documentary film, which claims that some Palestinians are also Cohens, genetically.

The Palestinian city of Yatta, located south of Hebron in the West Bank, has a population of 50,000 to 60,000 people. The Israeli documentary states that 90 percent of the town has Jewish roots.

Furthermore, many of them practice ancient customs that are very Jewish.

“In some of the dry and dusty Palestinian and Bedouin villages, they still circumcise their boys after the seventh day,” writes Mark Ellis on the website “Godreports.” Hidden away in some Palestinian homes are Jewish mezuzahs and tefillin. Some older residents can recall lighting candles on the Sabbath.

“Many of the Palestinians know it, but it’s not politically correct to acknowledge this publicly among Muslims,” says Steve Hagerman, founder of Turkish World Outreach. “There are two houses of Israel in the Holy Land: one aligned with the West and primarily secular or Jewish and the other aligned with the East and primarily Islam.”

Anyone who is familiar with Hebrew history should not be surprised by the DNA results. After all, the Bible records that after King Solomon’s death, the Kingdom of Israel split into northern and southern kingdoms. When the northern kingdom of Israel was conquered and taken into captivity by the Assyrians in 745-702 B.C., most were sent to the east — never to return, Hagerman notes.

Centuries later after some from the southern kingdom returned from captivity in Babylon, they were dispersed throughout the world again through the Roman conquest — with many Jews carried away as slaves or choosing to flee the Holy Land.

“Many of the people in southern and central Italy are of Jewish origin, because so many slaves were carried away by the Romans to big estates in southern Italy,” reports Haterman.

Documentary filmmaker Nissim Mossek quotes Rabbi Dov Stein who claims, “It becomes clear that a significant part of the Arabs in the land of Israel are actually descendants of Jews who were forced to convert to Islam over the centuries. There are studies which indicate that 85% of this group is of Jewish origin.

Oppenheim’s genetic studies seem to confirm that connection.

Mossek filmed a Palestinian home where the Jewish mezuzah was hidden under a shelf, and the tefillin are hidden among the socks in a dresser. A mezuzah is a parchment of scripture placed on the doorpost by religious Jews. Tefillin, also known as phylacteries, are a set of small boxes containing scrolls of parchment inscribed with scripture, which are worn by observant Jews during morning prayers.

A Palestinian woman interviewed on the program says, “That is how I pray and everyone keeps the secret.”

“Will your little boy find out he is Jewish? an interviewer asks.

“He will find out eventually,” she says.

CLICK HERE to read more

More from Beliefnet and our partners
previous posts

President Donald Trump unleashed another bold attack on Joe Biden over religion. Biden, who is a devout Catholic, condemned the comments as “shameful.” “No religion, no anything,” Trump told supporters at a brief airport rally in Cleveland. “Hurt the Bible, hurt God. He’s against God, he’s against guns, he’s against energy, our kind of energy.” […]

Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz sent a follow-up letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper raising his concerns about “religious discrimination” in the Department of Defense (DOD) and how the department should address “its culture of hostility towards religion.” “The Department must do better. It must take affirmative steps to stop those in its ranks from […]

A life-size statue of the late evangelist Billy Graham is set to replace a statue of a white supremacist in the US Capitol’s Statuary Hall next year, according to Religion News Service. The new statue will depict Graham as he appeared in the 1960s, preaching and holding a Bible in one hand. Chris Fagan, who […]

A Lebanese Catholic priest calls on believers around the world to pray for the people of his country following two explosions in Beirut that left dozens dead and thousands injured. “We ask your nation to carry Lebanon in its hearts at this difficult stage, and we place great trust in you and in your prayers, […]