The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories on Tuesday announced the arrest of a PA Arab resident of Kafr Qallil near Shechem who is suspected of robbing and trading antiquities with an estimated value of hundreds of thousands of shekels. The stolen stash includes, among other things, thousands of rare coins dating back to the earliest period when coins appeared in the Land of Israel. The suspected will be indicted in the coming days.
In a collaboration over recent months between the Border Police, the Archaeology Unit in the Civil Administration, the Coordination and Liaison Directorate in Shechem, and the IDF, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories arrested the suspect at his home in Kafr Qallil and confiscated the archaeological finds, which date to various periods in the history of Israel.
Among the finds were artifacts from the Persian and Hellenistic periods, as well as coins from the time of the Great Revolt of the years 70-73 CE, alongside equipment used by the suspect to steal the antiquities.
COGAT Chief, Brigadier General Fares Atila, issued a statement saying “the Civil Administration promotes many moves, overt and covert, to preserve the archaeology in Judea and Samaria. This was a significant operation to cut off the chain of trade in antiquities in the area.”