Gaza in Crisis: Israeli Attacks Devastate Mosques and Heritage Sites, UN Raises Alarms

UN Condemns Escalating Humanitarian Crisis in Gaza as Israeli Attacks Decimate Mosques, Heritage Sites, and Displace Thousands.

GAZA CITY, Palestine: The Gaza Strip faces an escalating humanitarian crisis as Israeli attacks continue to wreak havoc, destroying 1,000 mosques since October 7, according to local authorities. Gaza’s Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs revealed that the reconstruction of these mosques is estimated to cost a staggering $500 million.

In addition to the targeted mosques, the Israeli offensive has claimed the lives of more than 100 Muslim preachers, as reported by the ministry. Shockingly, the statement also accuses the Israeli occupation of desecrating cemeteries, violating their sanctity, and stealing corpses—an act deemed a clear challenge to international charters and human rights. Israeli authorities have not provided any comment on these allegations.

The onslaught extends beyond religious sites, with a church, several administrative buildings, Quranic schools, and a bank headquarters falling victim to the Israeli attacks, further exacerbating the crisis in Gaza. Notable among the damaged structures are the Great Omari Mosque, one of the oldest and most important mosques in historical Palestine, and the Church of Saint Porphyrius, believed to be the third oldest church globally.

Gaza in Crisis: Israeli Attacks Devastate Mosques and Heritage Sites, UN Raises Alarms
Othman Bin Qashqar Mosque IN Gaza (Photo Credit WAFA)

“The Israeli occupation continues to destroy dozens of cemeteries and dig up graves, violating their sanctity… and stealing the corpses inside,” the statement emphasizes.

Expressing the urgent need for international intervention, the ministry appeals to Arab and Islamic nations and people of conscience to fulfill their responsibilities toward the beleaguered Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Since the cross-border attack by Hamas on October 7, Israel has relentlessly pounded the Gaza Strip. Official Palestinian health authorities report that at least 25,105 Palestinians have been killed, with a majority being women and children, and 62,681 others injured.

The dire consequences of the Israeli offensive are evident in the displacement of 85% of Gaza’s population, coupled with acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine. The United Nations reports that 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, painting a grim picture of the unfolding crisis in the region.

Amid the destruction, heritage sites, including a 2,000-year-old Roman cemetery and the Rafah Museum, dedicated to preserving Gaza’s rich heritage, have also suffered irreparable damage. The UN expresses deep concern over the destruction of cultural and historic sites, emphasizing the urgent need for intervention to protect Gaza’s heritage.

This latest assault on Gaza follows a pattern of previous attacks on heritage sites in 2014, and a UNESCO report highlights further destruction of cultural and historic sites in Gaza in 2021, underscoring the ongoing threat to the region’s cultural heritage.

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