Detectives from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) acted on a tip and tracked down a thief who stole a 300-year-old parchment of two chapters from Deuteronomy, or Devarim in Hebrew, the fifth book of the Torah.

Amir Ginod, director of the IAA department that works to prevent thefts of artifacts, said that that the parchment might have eventually crumbled and disappeared for eternity if it had not been uncovered.

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Stealing antiquities is a serious crime in Israel, a treasure chest of ancient hiustroy.

In a separate incident, four Bedouin thieves were caught in southern Israel while digging with a backhoe at an archaeological site near the Bedouin city of Rahat, several miles northwest of Be’er Sheva.

The thieves were caught in the act with metal detectors, and they caused heavy and irreversible damage to the site.

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