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Gazans outraged at images showing damage to medieval mosque

December 8, 2023 at 6:59 pm

The Israeli army bombed the Grand Omari Mosque, Gaza’s largest and oldest mosque, on 8 December 2023 [RamAbdu/Twitter]

Gaza residents, on Friday, voiced grief and outrage after Hamas said Israel had bombed the enclave’s medieval Omari Mosque, causing widespread damage to a cherished landmark, Reuters reports.

Photographs carried by media that Reuters could not independently verify, but which Reuters journalists from Gaza recognised as the Mosque showed fallen walls and roofs and a huge crack at the bottom of the stone minaret. The Mosque is located in Gaza City’s Old Town.

Ahmed Nemer, 45, a tailor who lived on the street next to the Omari Mosque, said he was speechless after seeing the photographs of the damaged building from south Gaza, where he fled to seek shelter from the bombardment.

I have been praying there and playing around it all through my childhood

he said, accusing Israel of “trying to wipe out our memories”.

There was no immediate comment from the Israeli military to a Reuters question about damage to the Mosque.

Mohammad Rajab, a taxi driver from Gaza City who

has also fled to the south from his home a few hundred metres (yards) from the Mosque, spoke of it as the city’s most important local landmark. This is barbaric

he said.

The Omari Mosque, named after Islam’s second caliph, Omar, is the oldest and biggest in the tiny Palestinian enclave, which has been under Israeli bombardment since a 7 October Hamas attack that Israel says killed 1,200 people.

Israel’s assault has killed more than 17,000 Palestinians, according to health authorities in the Territory, and has laid waste to entire city districts, including much civilian infrastructure.

READ: Hamas says Israel destroyed historic Gaza Mosque