Resident of East Jerusalem arrested on suspicion of grave robbing

A resident of Jerusalem was arrested on suspicion of Hakal-Dama located in East Jerusalem on Friday afternoon.

On Friday morning, Israeli border police operating in Jerusalem recognized that the Hakal-Dama archeological site had been tampered with, according to the Border Police Spokesperson unit.

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Used in ancient times as a public burial ground, mainly for Christian pilgrims who passed away during their visit, the site is located north of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Abu-Tor, which is a mixed Arab and Jewish neighborhood.

The Policemen who scanned the area noticed evidence of unusual activity. A secretive storage unit, typically used to house work tools for prolonged stays at a working site, was discovered leading police to investigate further.

In response to discovering damages to the archeological excavations, police arrested a suspect on the site. After the suspect was taken into custody, the police summoned an inspector specializing in antique robbery from the Israel Antiques Authority to continue the investigation.

The suspect in custody is a Jerusalem resident in his 30‘s and has been brought in for further questioning by the Israel Antiques Authority.

"The Border Police and Israel Police view with great severity any attempt to damage sites that preserve the historical heritage in the Land of Israel. Any Person who carries out unauthorized activity at archeological sites, harms or loots them, commits a crime of up to five years in prison," said the Border Police spokesperson unit.