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July 11, 2017 2:59 pm

Palestinian Antiquities Thieves Caught Stealing Pillars From Ancient Church

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Stolen Jewish antiquities that Israeli authorities recovered near Hebron in May. Photo: Israel Police.

JNS.org – Israeli authorities arrested two Palestinian thieves who attempted to steal artifacts from a Byzantine-era church in the West Bank, the IDF said on Monday.

The suspects were apprehended near Tekoa with three pillars from a Byzantine church in the back of their work truck. The pillars are inscribed with ancient pseudo-Greek script.

Following the arrests, the IDF Civil Administration’s archaeological unit underscored the need for continued action against the theft of antiquities.

“We will continue in the war on the history of Judea and Samaria with operations against antiquities thieves, who damage archaeological sites,” said Benny Har, deputy head of the Civil Administration’s archaeological unit, the Times of Israel reported.

In May, the Israel Police and the IDF recovered a hoard of Jewish antiquities during a raid on a home in the village of Beit Ula near Hebron. The items included dozens of ancient coins, oil lamps, jewelry and Jewish ritual objects.

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