Following the conclusion of an undercover investigation and lengthy intelligence surveillance, a suspected antiquities thief was arrested near Shechem (Nablus) on Monday night.
The individual is suspected of stealing and selling thousands of rare antiquities, worth hundreds of thousands of shekels.
The operation, which took place over several months, included cooperation between the Border Police, the Civil Administration's Archaeology Unit, the unit for coordination and communication for Shechem and IDF forces. In it, the Civil Administration arrested the suspect in Kafr Qallil, and confiscated the archaeological finds, which date back to various periods in Israel's history.
Among the findings confiscated were archaeological items from the Persian period, the Hellenistic period, and coins from the period of the Great Jewish Revolt, along with equipment which the suspect used to steal the antiquities.
Civil Administration head Brigadier General Fares Atila said, "The Civil Administration is advancing many processes, open and undercover, for the purpose of preserving the archaeology in Judea and Samaria. This is an important and significant operation in cutting the chain of antiquities sales in the region."
The arrested antiquities dealer was transferred for further interrogation by the Civil Administration. An indictment is currently being finalized, and it will be submitted to the Military Prosecutor.The ancient coins found near Shechem Credit: COGAT spokesperson