Worship under the bombs

Gaza, Palestinian Territories, 2014

In the aftermath of Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s 51 day military assault, the Palestinians in Gaza are faced with the huge task of reconstruction. Most of the shattered civilian infrastructure can be replaced, but Palestine’s cultural heritage in Gaza, built over a thousand years and more, has been damaged irrevocably. Many of Gaza’s most ancient sites have been left in ruins by Israel’s attack on the territory. Houses of worship, tombs, charity offices and cemeteries have all been damaged by the shelling, but Gaza’s historic mosques have been the worst affected. Many of these sites date back to the time of the first Islamic caliphs, the Ottoman Empire and the Mamluk Sultanate.


Protective Edge damaged 203 mosques, of which 73 were destroyed completely. Two churches were also damaged, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs. The targeting of mosques by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) in the latest offensive was three times more than in the 2008-2009 attack, the ministry’s report said.


Source: Middle East Monitor