Palestinian Official: ‘Israel stole our snake’

After Israel chose the daboia palaestinae to be its national snake, the Palestinian Authority protested the move, calling it an act of ‘theft’ and an affront to preserve ‘Palestinian identity’.

By Dalit Halevy


Last Thursday, Israel’s Society for the Protection of Nature and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority named the Palestine viper as Israel’s national snake.

The Palestine viper, or daboia palaestinae, was selected based on an online vote.

Geographic distribution of Daboia palaestinae: Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria – Photo: Wikimedia/rbrausse

Found across the Levant, from the northern Negev and western Jordan in the south to northern Lebanon and central Syria in the north, the snake is common throughout most of Israel, and in Hebrew is referred to as the ‘common viper’, or ‘common Land of Israel viper’.

The Palestinian Authority protested the move, calling it an act of ‘theft’ which ignored what they called the viper’s Palestinian heritage.

Imad al-Atrash, the Executive Director of the Palestine Wildlife Society, denounced Thursday’s announcement regarding the viper, adding that the struggle over the snake’s national identity was part of the larger battle by the PA to preserve ‘Palestinian identity’.

Vipera palaestinae – Photo: Wikimedia/Photographed in Israel by ערן פינקל (Eran Finkel)

Al-Atrash called on outside organizations to join the struggle to recognize the snake as the ‘Palestine viper’, rather than as the ‘Land of Israel viper’.


View original Arutz Sheva publication at:



Israel and Stuff Post Script:

If the Palestinian Authority really sought to preserve ‘Palestinian identity’ then THIS would be its national symbol: The “Palestinian Snake in the Grass”