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ALM Feature

Gaza 100 days: Palestinian heritage, churches, mosques decimated by Israeli strikes

Hundreds of heritage and other historical landmarks have been damaged in the ongoing Israeli offensive on Gaza.
Orthodox worshippers attend a Christmas mass at the Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Porphyrius in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, Jan. 7, 2024.

GAZA — Khaled Ghazal looks at a pile of scattered old stones from the Great Omari Mosque as his eyes fill with tears. The mosque, Gaza’s largest and oldest, was largely destroyed in an Israeli airstrike last month in the Hamas-Israel war that began Oct. 7.

Hundreds of heritage sites have been destroyed or damaged since Israel launched its air, sea and ground campaign on the Gaza Strip. The offensive came in retaliation for Hamas’ cross-border assault Oct. 7 in which around 1,200 people were killed and another 240 taken hostage by the movement’s militants. Since then, more than 23,000 Palestinians have been killed, according to local officials.

The Great al-Omari Mosque
Remnants of the Great Omari Mosque, Gaza's largest and oldest mosque located in Gaza City.

Israel says it is fighting Hamas, which operates in densely populated areas. Speaking to the Washington-based National Public Radio network, an Israeli official admitted that the Great Omari Mosque was hit by an Israeli strike last month, saying a tunnel network was used by Hamas fighters underneath the mosque.

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