A Palestinian organisation located in the territories occupied in 1948 that maintains Islamic sanctities and monitors violations against them by the Zionist occupation authorities has said that, “Zionist gangs have been using malicious methods and means of destruction and Judaisation of Islamic and Christian sanctities in order to alter real Palestinian landmarks over past 65 years in what is known as the “Nakba” or [Palestinian Catastrophe].” It also noted that this “still goes on today at the hands of the Israeli establishment and its various branches.”
In a press statement on Tuesday (5/21), the Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowments and Heritage said that “Islamic and Christian sanctities are subjected to acts of severe violence affecting their exterior, but mostly preserving their interior, despite Israel’s continuous and tireless attempts to seize these sanctities from the Islamic and Arab reality.”
Data from the Al-Aqsa Foundation shows that 2350 Islamic and Christian holy sites located in destroyed villages, as well as coastal towns in the Palestinian Territories, have been desecrated by the Israeli occupation.
Abdul Majeed Aghbariya, head of the sanctities portfolio at the foundation, explained that the project of surveying and documenting Islamic and Christian sanctities in the villages destroyed in 1948, the first phase of which has been completed, found that 1350 holy sites were documented. These sites include graves, mosques, churches and chapels in the northern area of the Palestinian territories from Caesarea to the far north, all of which have been desecrated and either partially or fully demolished by Israel.
Furthermore, Aghbariya pointed out that the southern area of the Palestinian territories contains about 1,000 holy sites that have also been desecrated. He also noted that research included Arab coastal cities such as Acre, Haifa, Jaffa, Al-Lid and Ramla. However, the research did not include the holy sites in other Arab towns that have been destroyed.
Aghbariya also mentioned that hundreds of graves and mosques have been totally destroyed and those that have been partially destroyed were not spared by the Zionist authorities – dozens of mosques have been turned into restaurants, bars, museums and synagogues.