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July 22, 2014 / 24 Tammuz, 5774
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PA Archaeological Thief Caught Red-Handed Digging Up Artifacts

Archaeological artifacts are some of Israel’s most cherished treasures. They also are cherished by thieves, but the Antiquities Authority has caught one of them, a PA Arab, red-handed.
Palestinian Authority thieves caused irreversible damage to archaeological sites dating from the Second Temple period.

Palestinian Authority thieves caused irreversible damage to archaeological sites dating from the Second Temple period.
Photo Credit: IAA

Israel’s Antiquities Authority IAA) has caught a Palestinian Authority Arab thief red-handed while digging up ancient artifacts in the Jerusalem Hills.

The IAA’s theft-prevention unit told Tazpit News Agency that the robber, from the village of Hussan in Gush Etzion, was caught trying to dig up and steal artifacts at the “Bohan Ruins.”

Earlier the same day, an inspector of the Nature Reserves Authority and the IAA chased away a gang of robbers from the “Toora Ruins” in the Nahal Soreq area, west of Jerusalem. Artifacts from the Second Temple-era of Herod and Hashmonean times are located there, and the thieves caused extensive and irreversible damage to the sites by reckless digging.

Information acquired by the theft detention unit enabled officials to set up a lookout and spot the gang while it was hiding in nearby bush.

During the day, the gang had proceeded on foot to the Bohan Ruins, the location of a village from the Byzantine period and where a church stood as its center. The gang, which had brought along sleeping bags and food, then worked under the cover of dark and at one point reached only a few feet from the theft-prevention unit.

One of the robbers was caught red-handed looking for artifacts with an advanced tool for locating metal objects, particularly ancient coins. The suspect was remanded in a Jerusalem court, and prosecutors are preparing indictments,

Dr. Eitan Klein, deputy director of theft-prevention unit, said, “The gang, in its greed for money, caused damage to a large number of archaeological sites in the Jerusalem Hills, including destruction of pieces of our historic puzzle. The Jerusalem Hills, and Nahal Soreq in particular, are rich in archaeological artifacts that are evidence of varied cultures and the history of Israel, and two of these sites were damaged over the weekend,”

IAA spokesmen also told Tazpit News Agency, that the Antiquities Authority is investing resources to protect the inheritance of the Land of Israel and emphasized that digging in archaeological sites without permission is a serious crime that can land culprits In prison or up to five years.

The IAA said it hopes that the arrest will help put an end to the latest wave of thievery of Israel’s ancient history.

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6 Responses to “PA Archaeological Thief Caught Red-Handed Digging Up Artifacts”

  1. Guy Peters says:

    All waqf does this all the time ! Destroying as much as they can ,stealing ,selling what has cash value ,run all out of Jerusalem & all ZiOn !

  2. Pedro Acosta says:

    With over 5,700 years of Jewish history, every little fragment of the Israelite past is a connection to the Israeli present and should be protected to the maximum extent of the law.

  3. They must go! (They cry out for sharia law…in this case their hands would have been cut off) Can't say that it would bother me overly much.

  4. Abbas will call Obama. Obama will invite Peres to the White House. Peres will declare Jewish Antiquities an expendable victim of the peace process. And Netanyahu will let these rapists of Jewish Heritage go free. Sound familiar?

  5. Yechiel Baum says:

    expel them back to Eygpt

  6. Laura Rojas says:

    um, why Egypt? There, they would be seen as heroes…

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