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Israeli authorities confiscate antiquities from Palestinian-owned shop in Jerusalem's Old City

July 10, 2016 5:23 P.M. (Updated: July 11, 2016 3:26 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces on Sunday morning raided a Palestinian-owned antiquity shop in occupied East Jerusalem's Old City and confiscated a large number of antiquities, the owner told Ma’an.

Nabil al-Huroub told Ma’an that Israeli police and border guard officers along with inspectors from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) stormed his shop on al-Wad Street in the Old City “without prior notice” and started seizing antiquities.

Al-Huroub said that an IAA employee moving the items told him that he was accused of trading antiquities without a license.

However, al-Huroub insisted to Ma’an that his shop, which he has been operating with his family since the 1970s, has all the necessary documents and licenses from the IAA and the tax authority.

An Israeli police spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment.

Al-Huroub noted that following an Israeli High Court decision requiring that all antiquity dealers in Israel document their entire inventory online, he has “sent the photos they requested and paid taxes regularly every year.”

Al-Huroub highlighted that some of the antiquities in his shop were around 4,000 years old, including pottery, stones, glass works, coins, and other from the the Canaanite, Byzantine, and Islamic eras, with the most valuable piece reaching a total value in the millions of dollars. 

The shop, he said, is the main source of living for 100 members of his extended family.

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