Six antiquities thieves arrested for looting protected northern sites

The thieves were likely looking for fictional buried treasures to sell on the black market.

December 13, 2017 17:15
1 minute read.
A suspect is arrested for looting a protected archelogical site, December 2017

A suspect is arrested for looting a protected archelogical site, December 2017. (photo credit: NIR DISTELFELD/ ISRAEL ANTIQUITIES AUTHORITY)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Police have arrested six antiquities thieves accused of looting two archeological sites in the north of the country.

According to the Antiquities Authority, the incidents took place near the Lower Galilee, inside a 2,000-year-old burial cave on Mount Hazon, and in Horbat Devora, near the village of Daburiya.

The thieves, from the Druse village of Maghar, were likely looking for fictional buried treasures to sell on the black market, said Nir Distelfeld, an inspector of the authority’s anti-robbery unit.

“These folktales bring antiquities pirates who are looking for quick riches at the expense of destroying the heritage of all of us,” said Distelfeld on Wednesday.

“Several antiquities sites dating from the Roman period to the 1st century CE are known in the area,” he continued.

“These ancient sites include quarries, caves, and an industrial complex that was previously identified as a tile-manufacturing center of the Roman Sixth Legion.”

While details of the arrests remain unclear, Distelfeld said the suspects were detained at the Tiberias police station, interrogated, and then released on bail.

“It’s sad that money drives people to do this,” he lamented.

“Illegal excavations at the archeological sites are causing the irreversible destruction of heritage sites, and the history of all of us has been permanently damaged.”

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

U.N. Security Council debates the situation in the Middle East
March 26, 2019
UN Security Council debate IDF Hamas violence in Gaza - watch live