Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Operation Scroll and international law

OPERATION SCROLL CONTROVERSY: Search for undiscovered Dead Sea Scrolls reveals dispute over West Bank artifacts (Michele Chabin, Religion News Service).
Qumran is in the West Bank — territory Israel captured from Jordan during the 1967 Middle East War — which Palestinians say will be part of their future state.

Although international law assigns ownership of artifacts to the country where the excavation is taking place, the status of the disputed West Bank is not so clear-cut, some experts say. The Palestinians do not have an independent state, and Israel, which most countries consider an occupying force, has not annexed the territory.
I am not a lawyer and I take no view on what international law says about this particular case. But it does seem as though international law specialists don't agree on the issue either. This article cites and interviews a number of interested parties and experts, who have a wide range of views.

For past posts on Operation Scroll, start here and follow the links. And for another discussion of the issues it raises in international law, see here.

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