World, Middle East

Turkey rebuilds 9 mosques in Gaza

Israel had destroyed the mosques during its military offensive in 2014

Turkey rebuilds 9 mosques in Gaza file photo



Turkey's Religious Affairs Presidency Foundation has rebuilt nine mosques destroyed during Israel’s military onslaught on the blockaded Gaza Strip in 2014, an official statement said on Tuesday.

The Religious Affairs Directorate announced in a statement the mosques in Gaza were now ready to be used by the Muslim community.

The mosques, which have a capacity to host thousands of worshippers, will be officially opened next month, the statement added.

The Turkish foundation had announced the reconstruction project last year, saying the total cost would be $4.5 million.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Religious Endowments, 64 mosques had been destroyed and another 150 were partially damaged during Israel’s devastating military offensive in 2014. The Israeli army had pounded the blockaded Gaza Strip for seven weeks -- by air, land and sea -- with the ostensible aim of staunching Palestinian rocket fire.

Along with killing more than 2,150 Palestinians and injuring thousands of others, the offensive also left vast swathes of Gaza's critical infrastructure in ruins, most of which has yet to be rebuilt.

Reporting by Ertugrul Subasi ; Writing by Hatice Kesgin

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