Palestinians caught trying to smuggle rare, ancient coins out of Gaza
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Palestinians caught trying to smuggle rare, ancient coins out of Gaza

Border officials arrest merchants crossing to Israel carrying dozens of 2,300-year-old coins from era of Alexander the Great

Rare coin from the era of Alexander the Great caught at Kerem Shalom Crossing in October 2019. (Defense Ministry)
Rare coin from the era of Alexander the Great caught at Kerem Shalom Crossing in October 2019. (Defense Ministry)

Israel confiscated dozens of rare coins dating back to the time of Alexander the Great from Palestinian smugglers at the Gaza border crossing last week.

Two merchants were arrested at the Kerem Shalom crossing when border officials discovered 69 coins concealed in their textile truck bound for the West Bank, Channel 12 news reported Tuesday.

The coins were confiscated by the Civil Administration, and both men were detained for questioning.

Israel has previously confiscated ancient artifacts from Gaza border crossings that were allegedly smuggled from Egypt into the Gaza Strip and were en route to Israel for sale.

It was not immediately clear what authorities intended to do with the confiscated coins.

The coins are believed to have been minted some 2,300 years ago during or just after the reign of Alexander the Great. Some of them are believed to be from the city of Amphipolis, an ancient Greek town that Alexander used as a base to launch his military campaigns into Asia.

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