Palestinian official says Israel “loots Palestinian antiquities”

A Palestinian official on Friday accused Israel of waging a “systematic war” to “loot Palestinian antiquities in the Palestinian territories.”

Saleh Tawafsha, the director-general of the antiquities preservation department at the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, told Xinhua that looting Palestinian antiquities violates international conventions and laws.

“Israel has seized or attacked hundreds of archaeological sites in Palestine since 1967, whether by destroying, controlling, or turning these sites into religious shrines for Jews,” he said.

Tawafsha also called for more effective international interference “to stop the Israeli occupation from damaging the Palestinian archaeological sites.”