Thursday, July 21, 2005

DISENGAGEMENT IN GAZA could create a messy situation regarding antiquities and archaeology:
Palestinians: Israel to steal artifacts
By ORLY HALPERN (Jerusalem Post)

Palestinian archaeologists say they fear that when Israel withdraws from Gaza it will also take priceless archeological artifacts. Israeli officials have acknowledged this is a possibility.


According to international law, it is illegal for an occupying power to remove ancient artifacts, movable and immovable, from the land.

But Israel accuses the Palestinians of being unable to safeguard ancient sites in the West Bank's Areas A and B, under Palestinian control, where looting by Palestinians is common and most of the looted items are sold to Israelis.


Everyone seems to agree that current Israeli antiquities laws are part of the problem.

There is also this claim from the Palestine News Agency:
Israeli Bulldozers Destroy Remains of Byzantium Church in Gaza

GAZA, July 20, 2005, (WAFA)- Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (MTA) revealed Wednesday that Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) destroyed a very important archeological site south of Gaza.
. Director General of MTA, Dr. Moin Sadeq, told WAFA that Israeli troops razed yesterday (Tuesday) a site of huge remains of Byzantium Church, close to the shore of Deir Albalah City, south of Gaza.


I'm taking this report with a good pinch of salt unless it is confirmed by major mainstream media.

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