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'Israel destroyed Central Archives of Gaza City': Head of Gaza Municipality

November 29, 2023 at 7:43 pm

Mayor of Gaza Yahya Al-Sarraj specks during a press conference for the Federation of Gaza Strip Municipalities on January 17, 2022 [Salam Yasser/Apaimages]

The head of Gaza Municipality said, Wednesday, that Israel destroyed the “Central Archives” which contained thousands of historical documents dating more than 150 years, Anadolu Agency reports.

Targeting the Central Archives poses a great danger to the city, as it contains thousands of historically valuable documents for the community

Yahya Al-Sarraj told Anadolu.

He pointed out that “these documents … represent an integral part of our history and culture.”

“The Central Archives contains plans for ancient buildings of historical value and documents in the handwriting of well-known national figures,” he said.

These documents, dating back a long time, were burned, turning them into ashes, erasing a large part of our Palestinian memory

he noted.

Al-Sarraj said: “The Occupation targeted many buildings, including large and monumental cultural centres, as well as public parks belonging to the municipality.”

“Targeting included the Rashad Al-Shawwa Historical Cultural Centre, a very important centre that includes a theatre and a central library, which was targeted without any justification

“The Israeli Occupation also targeted the Palestinian Legislative Council and the memorial monument in the Memorial Park for the (Al-Jundi Al-Majhool) Unknown Soldier,” he said.

Al-Sarraj said “the attempt by the Occupation to destroy everything beautiful, to erase Palestinian memory, and to impose a policy of obscuring the people, making Palestinian cities uninhabitable.”

As part of the targeting of the Palestinian people and everything related to their values, heritage, culture and identity, Israel targeted memorials in several governorates since the start of its war early last month, including the Memorial of the Martyrs of the Marmara Ship in Gaza Port, the memorial of late journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the Jenin Refugee Camp and the memorial of late President Yasser Arafat in Tulkarm, in the West Bank.

The main library in the Gaza Strip also did not escape the Israeli war machine, which bombed it during raids that targeted Gaza City since the outbreak of the war on 7 October.

The library, known as the Public Offices Building, is the largest in the Strip, containing historical documents and books.

According to statements made, Tuesday, by the spokesperson for the Gaza City Municipality, Hosni Muhanna, residents of the city consider it the memory of the country and its present.

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