Sunday, December 31, 2023

  • Sunday, December 31, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon
Israel has been accused of destroying Gaza's cultural heritage with various attacks. But Gaza's best known mosque is a site where Jewish cultural heritage was quite literally erased.

One of the accusations is that Israel destroyed the Great Omari Mosque of Gaza:
The Omari Mosque, Gaza's most iconic landmark and oldest mosque stretching back centuries, has been largely destroyed in an Israeli strike, Gaza City officials and eyewitnesses say.

An Israeli official, who spoke to NPR on condition of anonymity to offer a preliminary assessment, confirmed the strike and said the mosque grounds contained a tunnel shaft used by militants, and that Hamas fighters from the elite Nukhba battalion had regularly used the mosque for cover.  
Israel was reported to have destroyed the same mosque in 2014. Amazing how this historic mosque can be destroyed so many times.

Hamas used the mosque as a military site. And it wouldn't be the first time Hamas was associated with the mosque.

In 2007,  Fatah gunmen shot dead the imam of the Great Omari Mosque, Mohammed al-Rifati, 40, by attacking his home with rocket-propelled grenades, because he was a Hamas supporter. 

In 2014, Hamas chose the supposedly destroyed Omari Mosque as the spot to publicly execute six men in front of hundreds of spectators including children.  The hooded suspected "collaborators" were dragged along the floor to kneel by a wall facing the crowd, then each man was shot in the head individually before being sprayed with bullets fired from an AK-47. 

Hamas leaders regularly preached at the Omari mosque. Ismail Haniyeh preached there in 2018, and at a funeral there in 2016 for seven Hamas men who were killed in a tunnel collapse he praised those building tunnels. 

Hamas senior official Mahmoud Zahar gave a press conference at the mosque last year.

In 1870, archaeologist  Charles Clermont-Ganneau examined the Great Omari Mosque of Gaza and found a column with an unmistakable menorah, lulav, etrog and shofar in bas relief. In Hebrew and Greek underneath the image it said "Hananiah bar Yaakov."

He took a squeeze of the find and published it:

Apparently, the Muslims took a column from the site of an ancient synagogue and placed it there. 

The anti-Zionist-and-definitely-not-antisemitic Gazans methodically chiseled out and smoothed over this representation of Jewish symbols sometime between 1987 and 1993.

Here's another famous case of Palestinians deliberately destroying Jewish heritage in Gaza: In 1966, Egyptian archaeologists discovered a mosaic in Gaza which in a building they identified as a church, showing a figure playing the lyre. A photo of the figure was published, and it was obvious that the Hebrew word "David" was next to the figure, and it was a synagogue that was uncovered, not a church. 

When Israel took over Gaza in 1967, they went to the site - and found that the Gazans had gouged out David's face and other parts of his body.

The mosaic has since been restored.

The treatment of ancient artifacts in Gaza is a microcosm of the war itself. Hamas cynically hides itself under Gaza's historical heritage and blames Israel when it is destroyed in pursuit of Hamas. But Gazans deliberately destroying Jewish heritage in Gaza aren't condemned at all.

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!




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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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