Destroying History: What We Know about Gaza’s Archeological Sites Targeted by Israel

The ancient Hamam Al-Samra was destroyed by an Israeli airstrike. (Photo: Mahmoud Ajjour, The Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Israeli occupation forces have targeted many archaeological, historical, and holy sites in the besieged Gaza Strip since the beginning of the war on October 7. 

According to the Gaza government media office, at least 200 archeological and historical sites were completely or partially destroyed by Israel in its ongoing aggression.

Church of Saint Porphyrius

On October 19, an Israeli bombardment damaged part of the Greek Orthodox Church of  Saint Porphyrius, located in the Al-Zaytoun neighborhood, east of Gaza City.

When the Israeli missile struck the church, at least 500 Palestinians were sheltered there. 20 Palestinians died and several others were wounded.

Believed to be the third oldest church in the world, the St. Porphyrius Greek Orthodox church in Gaza was originally founded in 425 CE.

St. Porphyrius was named after 5th-century Bishop Porphyrius, who shepherded the Christian community in Gaza 1,500 years ago. His tomb rests in the northeastern corner of the church.

St. Porphyrius is the only Greek Orthodox church in Gaza. There are three churches in Gaza, the Gaza Baptist Church, the Holy Family Catholic Church, and St. Porphyrius Greek Orthodox Church.

What We Know about St. Porphyrius Church that Israel Bombed in Gaza – PHOTOS

Hamam al-Samra

The Hamam al-Samra is located in the Al-Zaytoun neighborhood, the heart of the Old Gaza City.

The ancient bathhouse is one of the main, and few remaining, Ottoman architectural sites in Gaza. Though it has been around for hundreds of years, it was still operational.

The site was targeted last December by an Israeli bombardment, which led to its almost complete destruction.

Photo Essay: Gaza’s Hamam al-Samra, A Thousand Year Later

Al-Saqqa House

The Al-Saqqa House was located in the Shejaiya neighborhood , east of Gaza City. 

It was built in the 17th century, during the Ottoman rule of Sultan Mehmed IV, by Ahmed Al-Saqqa, one of the most prestigious merchants at the time. 

During the Nakba, in 1948, it was damaged by a shell and it was later restored. 

On November 9, 2023, Israeli forces targeted and destroyed the 400-year-old house.

Israeli Forces Destroyed over 200 Archeological Sites in Gaza – Reports

Al-Sayid Hashim Mosque

One of the most prominent in the Gaza Strip, the Al-Sayid Hasim Mosque is located in the Daraj neighborhood, in the heart of the Old City.

The Hashim Mosque was established during the Mamluk era, and was renewed during the Ottoman Empire in 1930, preserving its Mamluk style.

The mosque is particularly revered because it hosts the tomb of Prophet Mohammed’s great grandfather Hashim ibn Abd al-Manaf.

During the war on Gaza in 2014, Israeli forces had already threatened to demolish the ancient mosque but an intervention from the Kingdom of Jordan stopped the operation. 

The mosque was partially destroyed during the ongoing aggression on Gaza.

Worshippers are Back: Stunning Images from Gaza’s Al-Sayid Hashim Mosque

Great Omari Mosque 

The Great Mosque of Gaza, also known as the Great Omari Mosque, was considered the oldest and largest in the Gaza Strip.

It was located in the Al-Daraj neighborhood and was the third-largest mosque in Palestine. 

The mosque was targeted on December 8 by an Israeli airstrike, which led to its almost complete destruction, leaving only the minaret intact.


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1 Comment

  1. with all this destruction, I hope Gaza can move forward without forgetting its past. Of course I want all killing to end. Peace for Gaza

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