stolen memorial 298.88.
(photo credit: Channel 2)
A stolen Menashe Kadishman statue was saved from the blowtorches of suspected metal thieves on Tuesday minutes before it was cut up to be sold for scrap, Judea Samaria Police reported.
In part of an extensive operation to curb metal theft and bust the scrap operations, metal thieves, over 120 police, detectives, and special forces, acting on intelligence obtained by Judea Samaria Police, teamed up with representatives of Bezeq, Israel Electric, the Israel Tax Authority, and the Environmental Ministry.
The operation targeted illegal scrap metal operations in the West Bank and in Ma'aleh Adumim, and let to the arrests of eight dealers in stolen scrap metal, some of whom were caught in the act of melting down metal stocks.
Among the metal recovered were several tons of cable belonging to Bezeq and Israel Electric.
Metal theft has posed an ongoing problem for Israel's police, as well as often hitting a nerve with the public, as thieves have not hesitated to haul away monuments made of metal. A year ago, thieves broke into the Hanna Szenes Ort School in Haifa and stole a memorial board made of metal that served as a monument commemorating four students who were killed in a suicide bus bombing.
Sections of the tracks of an historical railway running through Beit She'an and the Jezreel Valleys have also been pillaged for profit, prompting volunteer Israeli railway buffs, together with the Council for Preservation of Buildings and Other Sites, to launch patrols.
Lydia Aisenberg contributed to this report.