Palestinians caught looting ancient site in Samaria

A land trustee of the Samaria Regional Council who was walking through a National Park discovered Palestinian antiquities robbers destroying important archaeological finds dating back thousands of years.

The site was located in the Old Samaria National Park, which itself is a remnant of the Palace of the kings of Israel. The Land Trustee contacted the head of the Samaria Regional Council, Yossi Dagan, to further handle the matter and call the Israeli authorities.

Dagan then appealed to the senior command of the Israel Defense Forces and demanded to immediately go in and capture the bandits. The Samaria Brigade jumped to the scene together with the Archeology Command of the Civil Administration. To their astonishment, the combined security forces discovered that the robbers had uncovered ancient tombs containing ancient sarcophagi that they were attempting to displace. The IDF immediately arrested the robbers and took them for further questioning.

The head of the Samaria Regional Council, Yossi Dagan, praised the IDF’s quick response and the civil administration work. "This is one of the most important historical and archaeological sites in the State of Israel, which is nothing short of amazing. A large single relic of the ancient Kingdom of Israel and the palace of the kings of Israel. We thank the security forces of the Samaria Division for their quick activity, however, the answer will only be to place a permanent military force to protect the national park Otherwise, very quickly the State of Israel will lose a historical site of world value, and of tremendous value to the Jewish people."

It should be noted that the historical homeland of the Israelites and of the Judean tribe was largely in Judea and Samaria, hence the name. Many holy sites and archaeological findings binding the Jewish people to Israel can be found in the region; nevertheless, the Palestinian Authority has been attempting to bury the Jewish connection to the land since assuming their position after the signing of the Oslo Accords.

This effort by the Palestinians was an extension of the work done by Jordan during their 19-year control over the region from 1948-1967. The Jordanians destroyed dozens of ancient synagogues in Jerusalem's old city. They also covered up a large part of the Mount of Olives, a cemetery dating back to the time of King David, with the neighborhood of Silwan.  Last month, Israeli authorities came across an ancient burial cave located in a Silwan home where the residents appeared to be looting it and destroying the bones.

An organization called “The Guardians of the Eternal” which protects Jewish archaeological and holy sites stated in response to the recent robbery that "this is a thuggish and barbaric act of robbery by the authorized arms of the Palestinian Authority without any archaeological supervision. This is the erasure of heritage in broad daylight. It is the duty of the State of Israel to act and prevent any action of this type. We congratulate the military for its response today, although it is appropriate This could have been prevented in advance."

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