Skip to main content

Pillaging of Gaza Antiquities An Archaeological Tragedy

The pillaging from the Gaza Strip of thousands of historical artifacts, some dating back to the time of Alexander the Great, at the hands of the Israeli occupation has stripped Gaza of its rich history, writes Asmaa al-Ghoul.
Palestinian amateur archaeologist Waleed Al-Aqqad touches a clay jar from his collection of ancient artefacts at his house, which he was turned into a museum, in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip April 3, 2011. Five thousand years of fascinating history lie beneath the sands of the Gaza Strip, from blinded biblical hero Samson to British general Allenby. Picture taken April 3, 2011. To match Feature PALESTINIANS-ARCHAEOLOGY      REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa (GAZA  - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT)   - RTR2LFVK
Read in 

Moshe Dayan is the former Israeli defense minister who, using the strength of the Israeli army, pillaged countless artifacts — dating from the Ottoman era to the time before Christ — from Gaza, in an effort to erase Palestinian history.

Once we entered the archeological sites in the Gaza Strip, we noted the full consequences of this pillaging. Gaza is devoid of its archaeological content; only floors and destroyed walls remain there. This was obvious when Al-Monitor visited St. Hilarion monastery, considered one of the most important in the Middle East. St. Hilarion was the disciple of St. Anthony the Great, the father of monasticism.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.