Middle East

Israeli army destroyed more than 200 archeological sites in Gaza: Report

Number is out of 325 registered sites across Gaza

Nour Abu Eisha  | 30.12.2023 - Update : 30.12.2023
Israeli army destroyed more than 200 archeological sites in Gaza: Report

GAZA CITY, Palestine

The Israeli army has destroyed more than 200 archeological and ancient sites out of 325 that were registered across the Gaza Strip in the course of its devastating onslaught since Oct. 7, authorities in the enclave said Friday.

The Gaza Media Office said the sites include ancient churches, mosques, schools and museums and other different historical and archeological sites and monuments.

"The ancient and archeological sites destroyed by the army date back to the Phoenician and Roman ages, others date back between 800 BC and 1,400, while others were built 400 years ago," it said in a statement.

The Great Omari Mosque, the Byzantine church in Jabalia, the Shrine of Al-Khadir in Deir al-Balah city in central Gaza Strip, and the Blakhiya Byzantine cemetery (The Anthedon of Palestine), northwestern Gaza City were among the sites.

It noted that other sites were severely damaged, including the Greek Orthodox Saint Porphyrius Church, the 400-year-old Al-Saqqa House and the Sayed al-Hashim Mosque, which is one of the oldest mosques in Gaza.

Geneva-based rights group, Euro-Med Monitor, said Nov. 20 that Israel deliberately destroyed archeological and historical monuments in the Gaza Strip, and accused it of "explicitly targeting Palestinian cultural heritage."

Gaza is an ancient and historic city that came under the rule of several empires and civilizations, including the Pharaohs, the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines then the Islamic age, among others.

Since Hamas’ cross-border attack on Oct. 7, Israel has continued relentless attacks on the Gaza Strip, killing at least 21,507 Palestinians and injuring 55,915, according to local health authorities.

Israeli authorities claimed that the Hamas attacks have killed around 1,200 Israelis.

The Israeli onslaught has left Gaza in ruins, with 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure damaged or destroyed and nearly 2 million residents displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicines.

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar

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