Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Diplomatic incident update

MORE ON THAT LOOTING ARREST: Palestine demands return of seized artefacts. Palestinian youth have been engaged in illegal excavation action by digging mountains and caves spreading around the West Bank (Nasouh Nazzal, Gulf news).
Ramallah: Palestine’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has urged its Israeli counterpart and the Israeli Tax Authority to return all Palestinian artefacts that were seized by occupation authorities as they were being smuggled out of the West Bank in a Norwegian diplomatic vehicle at Allenby Crossing last week.

The Israeli Tax Authority arrested Eisa Najam, a Palestinian driver for the Norwegian Embassy while on his way to Jordan in an official diplomatic vehicle with a senior Norwegian diplomat.

According to a statement from the Israeli Tax Authority, the suspect, from Beit Hanina of occupied east Jerusalem, was arrested for attempting to smuggle out at least 10 kilograms of ancient coins, statuettes and artefacts in panelling of the diplomatic vehicle.


The statement of the Israeli Tax Authority said that the age and provenance of the artefacts had yet to be ascertained. The authority said that several of the coins appeared to be Hellenistic and Roman, while the statuettes appeared to be from the Canaanite to Roman periods.

Background here.