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Security forces bust alleged antiquities traffickers in West Bank, find rare goods

Stolen antiquities recovered during an arrest operation in the West Bank on August 15, 2022. (Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories)
Stolen antiquities recovered during an arrest operation in the West Bank on August 15, 2022. (Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories)

Israeli security forces this morning arrested three Palestinian suspects in the illegal trade of stolen antiquities in the northern West Bank.

The Israeli military liaison to the Palestinians says in a statement that its forces along with Border Police uncovered rare archaeological findings worth hundreds of thousands of shekels as well as weapons during a raid on the suspects’ homes in the villages of Burka, Hawara and Silat al-Daher.

Security forces arrested a prominent northern West Bank-based antiques dealer several months ago in what led to an undercover investigation that culminated with the overnight arrest.

Among the items recovered were coins, titles, stone doors from the Roman and Byzantine periods, and ancient tools from the Iron Age and the 7th century.

“We will continue to act in order to protect the archaeological sites and natural treasures in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and act against those who try to harm them,” says a statement from Feras Atila, who heads the Civil Administration unit within COGAT military liaison office.

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