Palestinian sources reported on Tuesday that the Israeli antiquities department under the protection of the Israeli army stole a stone coffin from the village of Sabastya, located near the city of Nablus in the northern part of the West Bank.

Sebastya village has archaeological sites that date back 3000 years, including artifacts from the Canaanite, Roman, Byzantine, Phoenician and Islamic periods.

Dergham Farees, from the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in Nablus, told IMEMC that the Israeli antiquities department along with the Israeli army started digging a site in the village last Wednesday and they finished on Monday of this week.

Witnesses told media that the army has removed a stone coffin with symbols on it, and then took it away.

Farees told IMEMC that the army and the Israeli government used the fact that the Palestinian village is located in area (C ), over which the Palestinian Authority holds no control and which is still being occupied by the Israeli army, to take the artifact and bring it to the nearby Israeli settlement.

According to international law, the occupation forces are not allowed to move or destroy archaeological sites that belong to the occupied nation. The UN recognizes the West Bank as an occupied area.