On June 8, 1967, the Six Day War was at full tilt. The Israel army had taken East Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Within hours, Yigael Yadin, Military Advisor to the Prime Minister and world-famous archaeologist, dispatched an Israeli army officer to the East Jerusalem shop of an Arab antiquities dealer who Yadin knew possessed an important ancient scroll.
For seven years Yadin had been negotiating for the scroll through an American intermediary—to no avail. According to Yadin, the dealer had capriciously made and broken agreements, wildly raising and dropping the asking price for a document he possessed illegally.