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Gaza's crumbling history

The lack of attention given by the government to monuments in the Gaza Strip coupled with the lack of awareness on the part of citizens are resulting in further neglect of an impressive collection that could put Palestine on the map.

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Gazans are turning a blind eye to scores of archaeological sites rife with artifacts and antiquities and to large marble and stone columns dating back to the Canaanite, Pharaonic, Byzantine, Roman and Islamic eras. Experts and researchers are now raising the alarm about the indifference of residents, resulting from a lack of societal awareness of the historical and economic value these antiquities carry.

The Gaza Strip is home to scores of discovered and undiscovered archaeological sites. Hayam Albetar, officer in charge of researches and studies at the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, told Al-Monitor, “Gaza is an archaeological site filled with cities, walls, fortresses and artifacts, and exploration operations are addressing no more than 1% of what is underground.”

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