Two years after Israel’s demolition of mosques in Gaza in its latest offensive against the Strip in 2014, Palestinians today continue to pray in what remains of the damaged structures.
Gaza’s religious property incurred $50 million in damages during Israel’s “Operation Protective Edge”, the committee in charge of assessing the damage incurred by the Ministry of Endowments said.
It noted that 73 mosques were completely destroyed and 197 were partially damaged during the aggression, adding that 10 of its staff members were also killed.
Imam Shafi’i Mosque, Khalil Al-Wazir Mosque, Al-Shamaa mosque in Gaza City, as well as the Izz el-Deen al-Qassam mosque in the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza Strip and the Al-Montar mosque were all destroyed during the war.
Gaza’s residents insist on performing the rite of holy month of Ramadan in the destroyed mosques in order to ensure the revival of those mosques. They see it as a national duty and moral right.
The Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs said it has completed the first phase of the reconstruction of nine mosques destroyed by the Zionist occupation during its aggression on Gaza in 2014, noting that this stage has faced challenges and obstacles and difficulties and that Turkey had a prominent role in overcoming them.
Turkey has pledged to contribute to help with the reconstruction of mosques destroyed by the occupation during the recent offensive on the Gaza Strip, affirming the high status in which they hold Al-Aqsa Mosque.
The Turkish Minister of Endowments Dr. Muhammad Kormaz, after the end of the Israeli aggression, said: “There is great public awareness and support in Turkey towards Gaza.” he pledged to build ten completely destroyed mosques during his visit to Gaza last year.
Exclusive images by MEMO photographer Mohammed Asad.