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How Palestine is working to stop antiquities theft

Thousands of artifacts that were smuggled outside the Palestinian territories have been seized in the past years as part of the Palestinian government’s efforts to put a stop to illegal excavations and antiquities trade.
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RAMALLAH, West Bank — On March 16, the Palestinian police foiled an attempt to smuggle an antique statue from the city of Nablus in the West Bank to be sold outside the country. A week before, the police had announced the arrest of five people on charges of illegal excavations of antiquities in Jenin. On March 5, the police seized a 2,500-year-old mill in a house in Hebron.

Police spokesman Louay Zreikat told Al-Monitor that thwarting smuggling attempts of antiquities is seen as a major achievement by the police, because in the past it has been easy to smuggle antiquities abroad. Today, Palestinian police have been increasingly able to control and foil these operations.

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