Thursday, December 16, 2004

ANTIQUITIES LOOTING in Israel and the West Bank. It just goes on and on:
Grave robbers ransack Holy Land history
Hundreds of archaeological sites raided every year

By Megan Goldin
Updated: 3:38 p.m. ET Dec. 15, 2004

HEBRON, West Bank - As night falls, grave robbers fan out across the southern West Bank hills on a macabre mission.

Armed with metal detectors, shovels and pick axes, the thieves unearth graves last touched thousands of years ago and scoop up whatever loot they can find before slipping into the night, leaving broken pottery and scattered skeletons behind.

�The damage is irreparable,� said Amir Ganor, the head of the Israel Antiquities Authority robbery division. �It is not like a forest that burns down and can be replanted. If an antiquities site is robbed, then it is destroyed for good.�


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