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Inside, hundreds of ancient pots and other artifacts hang on the walls or are arranged helter-skelter on shelves.They are remnants of five millennia of Gaza's history, from the Bronze Age to the Islamic caliphates and on down to the years of Ottoman and British rule in the 20th century.Hamas has done little to protect Gaza's antiquities and in some cases actively destroys them.Ayman Hassouna, professor of history and archaeology at Gaza's Islamic University, blamed Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas equally for not protecting the territory's cultural heritage.He said Israel confiscated artifacts from archaeological digs in the decades it occupied Gaza and did little to prevent antiquities trafficking. Antiquities plundering and trafficking also remains a problem, said Heyam al-Bitar, an archaeologist with Gaza's Tourism and Antiquities Ministry. She said the ministry only learned earlier this year that dozens of ancient Greek silver coins were smuggled out of Gaza in 2016 .Aqqad is one of few trying to save antiquities in Gaza.
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