Palestinian caught trying to smuggle rare, ancient coins from Gaza
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Palestinian caught trying to smuggle rare, ancient coins from Gaza

Security forces arrest merchant crossing to Israel carrying 2,300-year-old coins from era of Alexander the Great

Rare coin from the era of Alexander the Great caught by Ministry of Defense Crossing Authority at Erez Crossing, July 16, 2017. (Ministry of Defense Crossing Authority)
Rare coin from the era of Alexander the Great caught by Ministry of Defense Crossing Authority at Erez Crossing, July 16, 2017. (Ministry of Defense Crossing Authority)

Security personnel on Sunday caught a Palestinian man trying to smuggle rare coins, thought to be from the time of Alexander the Great, from the Gaza Strip into Israel, the Defense Ministry said Sunday.

Officials from the Border Crossing Authority thwarted the attempt when they detained a Palestinian merchant as he attempted to enter Israel through the Erez crossing with four valuable coins, thought to be some 2,300 years old.

The coins were allegedly smuggled from Egypt into the Gaza Strip and were en route to Israel for sale.

The coins show Herakles (known later to the Romans as Hercules) on their face, and a seated Zeus, who was the head god of the ancient Greeks, on the reverse side. Zeus is holding a scepter and eagle.

Rare coin from the era of Alexander the Great caught by Ministry of Defense Crossing Authority at Erez Crossing, July 16, 2017. (Ministry of Defense Crossing Authority)
Rare coin from the era of Alexander the Great caught by Ministry of Defense Crossing Authority at Erez Crossing, July 16, 2017. (Ministry of Defense Crossing Authority)

It is difficult to estimate the value of the coins because there are many variables which can affect the price, but they could be worth thousands of dollars. The Israel Antiquities Authority is examining the coins.

The suspect was detained for questioning.

Rare coins from the era of Alexander the Great caught by Ministry of Defense Crossing Authority at Erez Crossing, July 16, 2017. (Ministry of Defense Crossing Authority)
Rare coins from the era of Alexander the Great caught by Ministry of Defense Crossing Authority at Erez Crossing, July 16, 2017. (Ministry of Defense Crossing Authority)
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