Three Arabs arrested for theft of ancient archeological artefacts

December 9, 2021 by TPS
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Israeli police have arrested three Arab suspects in the heart of Jerusalem with dozens of archeological items in their vehicle, some of them from the period of the Bar-Kochba revolt in 130 CE.

One of the recovered items. (Israel Police)

A detective team from the Lev HaBira police station in the Jerusalem district noticed a vehicle with three people who aroused their suspicion and therefore asked to have it inspected.

During the vehicle’s inspection, detectives located many archeological items in the possession of the suspects, two residents of eastern Jerusalem and another of the Palestinian Authority.

A professional inspection by the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) identified the items from the Bar Kochba Revolt, and the Roman and Byzantine periods.

The suspects were transferred to the police station for further investigation, in coordination with IAA.

This is the second case in recent days in which police from the Jerusalem District located archeological items illegally held in the possession of Arab suspects. Detectives located on Sunday archeological items thousands of years old in the possession of an eastern Jerusalem resident in his 30s, including a Hasmonean coin from the time of Matityahu Antigonus bearing the Temple Menorah, a biblical seal with an ancient Hebrew inscription, and an oil candle from the Hasmonean period.

Felons committing antiquities-related offences can face up to five years in prison under Israeli law.


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