Because “if we don’t do it now and quickly, the looters will beat us to it” is the basic argument of this report.
Curious that such a sentiment should be expressed when Israel itself is happy enough to excavate in occupied territory. The Israelis get around this, they think, by suggesting
Qumran’s location in the West Bank, far beyond the Green Line, is of no relevance. The importance of the scrolls and the fact that archaeological activity has been ongoing in the area for more than 50 years under the aegis of the Staff Officer for Archaeology in the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria resolves any question of whether it is permissible to excavate in the Northern Dead Sea area and to remove artifacts from an area that is not defined officially as being within the country’s borders.
So basically if something is important to us, we can claim the land we expect to find it on and you can’t say anything about it. How absurd that is as an argument is plain to see.
Israel, looting Palestinian land, wants to beat the Bedouin looters to it… So this is really a game of ‘who can loot first’.