Portrait: The High Priest of the ancient Samaritan community, Ovadia Cohen

The high priest of the ancient Samaritan community, Ovadia Cohen, poses for a portrait on Mount Gerizim, near the West Bank Palestinian city of Nablus, on March 22, 2017.

According to tradition, the Samaritans are descendants of the northern Israelite tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, who survived the destruction of the Kingdom of Israel (Samaria) by the Assyrians in 722 BCE. Samaritans follow four principles of faith: One God – the God of Israel; One Prophet – Moses son of Amram; One Holy Book – The Torah, the first five books of the Bible and one Holy Place – Mount Gerizim. Today, the small community numbers about 700 people, approximately half of them live in a village at Mount Gerizim, near the Palestinian city of Nablus, and the rest in the Israeli city of Holon, south of Tel Aviv.