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July 17, 2017 1:05 pm

Palestinian Merchant Caught Smuggling Rare Coins Into Israel From Gaza

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One of the rare coins that a Palestinian merchant tried to smuggle from Gaza into Israel through the Erez border crossing. Photo: Israeli Ministry of Defense Crossing Authority. – Israel’s Ministry of Defense Crossing Authority thwarted an attempt to smuggle rare coins from Gaza into Israel through the Erez border crossing on Sunday.

In a search of a Palestinian merchant who was attempting to enter Israel through the crossing, Israeli officials discovered four rare coins, likely from the era of Alexander the Great.

The Defense Ministry said the coins were purportedly trafficked from Egypt into Gaza and were being smuggled into Israel to be sold.

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Security officials detained the Palestinian suspect for further questioning and denied him entry into Israel. The Defense Ministry also summoned representatives from the Israel Antiquities Authority to the Erez crossing to further examine the rare coins.

Last week, Israeli authorities arrested two Palestinian thieves who attempted to steal artifacts from a Byzantine-era church in the West Bank.

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