The location where the three Palestinians were caught stealing from Sebastia Archeological Site .
(photo credit: COGAT)
The Military Court has sentenced three Palestinians to three years in jail for robbing an archeology site in the West Bank early Monday morning.
The three Palestinians were caught stealing antiquities from the Sebastia Archeological Site, using metal detectors and digging equipment, by an inspector from the The Archaeology Unit at the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria and the Shavei Shomron Company.
“The enforcement system of the Archaeological Staff Officer Unit will continue to use all the tools at its disposal to arrest and prosecute those offenders who damage important pieces of history, such as Sebastia,” said archaeologist Benjamin Har-Even.
The suspects were later brought to the Ariel Police station where they were detained and interrogated.
Charges were filed for damage to antiquities and unauthorized excavation at an antiquities site. The three suspects were sentenced to 36 months in prison, nine months probation and each were fined NIS 4000 to be paid over the course of three years.
The archaeological site of Sebastia contains remains of a city from the First Temple period, the Hellenistic period, as well as from the Roman and Byzantine periods. This site makes it possible for historians and archaeologists to gather information about the history of various groups living in the region. As a result of the illegal and uncontrolled activity of thieves, pages of history are erased.
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