Some of the key mosques Israel has destroyed include the Al-Omari Grand Mosque, the third largest mosque in Palestine which dates back to more than 1400 years.
Israel has destroyed more than 1,000 out of Gaza’s 1,200 mosques since the beginning of the Israeli war on the besieged enclave on October 7, 2023, the local Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs confirmed in a statement on Sunday.
Some of the key mosques Israel has destroyed during its genocidal war on Gaza include the Al-Omari Grand Mosque, the third largest mosque in Palestine which dates back to more than 1400 years.
Built during the rule of the Caliph Omar bin Al-Khattab, the mosque was among the main landmarks in Gaza as well as Islamic heritage.
In its statement, the ministry in Gaza confirmed that Israel killed more than 100 Muslim scholars, preachers, imams and muezzins since the start of the war. The figure is part of the more than 25,000 people Israel has killed since it waged the brutal war, with women and children making up 70% of the total toll.
The ministry in Gaza noted that the reconstruction of all local mosques will cost around $500 million.
“We appeal to the Arab and Islamic nations and people of conscience to fulfil their responsibilities towards the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip,” the besieged enclave’s authorities said.
Euro-Med Monitor separately confirmed on Friday that Israel has destroyed Gaza’s three churches and 199 heritage sites. The churches include the Greek Orthodox Saint Porphyrius Church in Gaza City, the world’s third oldest church, where Israel committed a massacre on October 19, 2023.
The destruction of heritage and religious sites by Israel meets the definition of “cultural genocide.”
The term refers to “any deliberate act committed with the intention of destroying the language, religion or culture of a[…]group, such as, for example, prohibiting the use of the group’s language or its schools or places of worship.”
Such acts are part of Israel’s attempts at erasing the Palestinian culture under its 75-year occupation of Palestine. Activists and academics have long pointed to Israel’s “weaponisation of museums,” stealing Palestinian artefacts while attempting to distort the narrative of its illegal occupation.
Israel has mainly targeted civilian structures throughout the war as it flattened the once vibrant coastal enclave through its relentless bombardment. Israel has destroyed 1,690 industrial facilities, damaged 326 schools, and targeted 208 health facilities, according to Euro-Med.
On Monday, Israeli tanks surrounded the Al Amal Hospital in Khan Younes, one of the 15 partially functioning hospitals in Gaza out of a total of 36.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said it lost contact with its teams in the area due to Israel’s ground invasion following intense attacks on southern Gaza.
Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week, Qatar’s Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said there is nothing left in the Strip.
“Right now and looking at the situation and the amount of bombing and destruction that happened in Gaza, around more than 23,000 people being killed, two-thirds of them women and children, Gaza is not there anymore. There’s nothing over there, it’s carpet bombing everywhere,” Sheikh Mohammed, who is also Qatar’s foreign minister, said at the time.
He added that reconstructing Gaza is “like rebuilding an entire city.”
“I don’t see that there is a magic word going back to the status before 7th of October and you will see all the countries coming back and injecting funds there to reconstruct it, unless we address the real issue, which is the two-state solution,” he noted.