The IAA has hailed the discovery as a wake-up call for the Israeli government to tackle antiquities looters head-on.
Israel Hasson, director of the IAA, said: “The desert team showed exceptional courage, dedication and devotion to purpose, rappelling down to caves located between heaven and earth, digging and sifting through them, enduring thick and suffocating dust, and returning with gifts of immeasurable worth for mankind.
“The newly discovered scroll fragments are a wake-up call to the state.
“Resources must be allocated for the completion of this historically important operation.
“We must ensure that we recover all the data that has not yet been discovered in the caves before the robbers do. Some things are beyond value.”
The IAA has been extensively excavating caves across the Judean Desert since 2017, spearheading a move to protect Israel’s historical and cultural heritage.