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March 19, 2020 9:53 am
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Fearing ‘End of World is Near,’ Israeli Returns Stolen 2,000-Year-Old City of David Artifact

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A view of the City of David and the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. Photo: Joe Freeman via Wikimedia Commons.

JNS.org – An Israeli citizen who fears the world is ending amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic recently returned to Jerusalem’s City of David National Park a 2,000-year-old catapult stone he stole 15 years ago.

“The time has come to clear my conscience. It feels that the end of the world is near,” the unidentified person said in a Monday press release from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA).

The Israeli, whose identity has not been revealed, used a man named Moshe Manies as a go-between to deliver the bowling-ball-size stone to the City of David National Park.

Archeologist Yuval Baruch of the IAA’s Jerusalem region said the stone was an ancient weapon used by forces besieging a city to hurl projectiles at fortress walls.

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Manies said the theft took place when two youths touring the park saw a collection of ballista stones that had been launched at fortifications, The Times of Israel reported.

“One of the boys took one of the stones home,” Manies posted on Facebook, which drew the IAA’s attention. “Meanwhile, he married and raised a family, and told me that for the past 15 years, the stone is weighing heavily on his heart.”

“And now, when he came across it while cleaning for Passover, together with the apocalyptic feeling the coronavirus generated, he felt the time was ripe to clear his conscience,” added Manies, “and he asked me to help him return it to the Israel Antiquities Authority.”

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