Destruction of UN world Heritage Sites in Gaza an international crime -Dr Tarmer Almassri

By Desire Tshuma

Ambassador of the State of Palestine Dr Tamer Almassri calls on the international community to hold Israel accountable for its flagrant violations of international law.

The destruction of more than 200 United Nations world archaeological and heritage sites in the Gaza Strip, such as ancient mosques, churches, schools, museums and ancient archaeological sites in a failed attempt to obliterate the Palestinian cultural heritage in the ongoing Israeli genocide in Gaza has been condemned by Ambassador Tarmer. The state of Palestine demands the Israeli occupation state to return all the stolen artifacts from Gaza heritage sites.

“The heritage and archaeological sites that have been destroyed, some of which date back to the Phoenician era, Roman era, 800 BC, and some of which date back to 400 years ago. In the Holy land of Palestine, the occupation is trying to change its features through bombing and direct targeting” said Ambassador Almassri.

The most prominent sites destroyed by the occupation army are the Byzantine Church of Jabalia, the Al-Omari Mosque in Jabalia, the Sheikh Shaaban Mosque, the Al-Dhafar Damri Mosque in Al-Shuja’iya, the Al-Khader Shrine in Deir Al-Balah, the Balakhiya Site “Anthedon Port” northwest of Old Gaza City, and the Khalil Al-Rahman Mosque in The Abasan area in Khan Yunis (south of the Gaza Strip), the center of ancient manuscripts and documents in Gaza City, among other important archaeological and heritage sites.

The occupation targeting and destruction of heritage and archaeological sites in the Gaza Strip is considered a clear international crime in accordance with international laws, especially international humanitarian law, the 1954 Hague Convention regarding the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, and the Second Protocol to the Convention of 1999, which prohibits the deliberate targeting of cultural and religious sites in all circumstances. .

The state of Palestine calls on all international and international organizations related to the cultural and heritage dimension to condemn this organized crime committed by the “Israeli” occupation army in the Gaza Strip and to intervene immediately to stop this crime and work to rehabilitate and restore these destroyed heritage and cultural sites.

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