Activists belonging to the "Guardians of Eternity" organization recorded Arab antiquities thieves stealing valuables in Tel Tekoa of eastern Gush Etzion, Judea.
The five robbers were seen using metal detectors and excavation tools to unearth the objects. Volunteers accompanied by IDF soldiers gave chase to the thieves, who succeeded avoiding capture.
The rare documentation is the result of weeks of monitoring the cell's activity at the site, and provides a glimpse into the destruction taking place at thousands of antiquities and heritage sites across Judea and Samaria.
Hundreds of thousands of archeological treasures fall into the hands of PA robbers on the hunt for valuable artifacts, leading to the destruction of remnants of Jewish history.
Tel Tekoa, rising above the surrounding plateaus, is identified with the city of Tekoa, mentioned in the Torah - a city belonging to the tribe of Judah and hometown of the prophet Amos "a [shepherd] in Tekoa" (Amos 1: 1). During the Byzantine Period, the local rulers identified the location at the burial spot of the prophet. PA Arabs from the area have long been stealing artifacts from the site.
In a recent attack that took place just a number of months back, a team of archeologists from the Civil Administration returned a 1,600-year-old Byzantine immersion basin after discovering it in PA-controlled Mukhtar Village.
"The robbery of antiquities is a coup d'etat. The lack of enforcement and failure of deterrence in this area leads to a catastrophe in which human cultural assets and historical cultural treasures of the Jewish Nation in their Land are stolen and destroyed. The State must prevent antiquities from being stolen, enforce the law in Judea and Samaria, and adopt the national emergency plan we have formulated," says Guy Derech, Director of Preserving the Eternal.