An old Russian tank was found buried two meters underground on Monday during a pre-construction excavation in Holon’s industrial zone, and officials are still trying to figure out how it got there.

The T-34 model tank, first produced in 1939 and widely used during World War II, was unearthed, ironically enough, on Merkava Street. Merkava is the name of Israel’s domestically produced tanks.

Officials said it could be a tank that had been confiscated during one of Israel’s wars. Over the years, the Israel Defense Forces destroyed thousands of Russian tanks and seized hundreds of others. Some were dismantled for parts or were used as targets during training exercises. Others were refurbished, had their major systems replaced, and were deployed under the model name Tiran.
Rami Aharoni, who researches the history of Holon and visited the site, told Haaretz that the tank could be a remnant of a military workshop that was located for decades between Merkava and Derech Shiva streets.
“Perhaps it was buried on purpose, or perhaps they just left it there and it was buried by the drainage work done in the area,” Aharoni said.
When the tank was first uncovered, police closed off the area for fear there might also be explosives found nearby, but after a short time they determined that concern was baseless. The Israel Police posted a number of pictures of the tank on its Facebook page and many people made comments speculating on the origin of the tank. One poster wrote that the tank was lucky it hadn’t been forgotten within the Tel Aviv city limits, otherwise it would have been ticketed and towed.