Vandals attack mosque in northern Israel, demolish its minbar

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A group of unknown vandals have attacked a mosque in the Arab majority Old City of Acre (Akko), northern Israel, demolished its minbar and stole its old stones, Arab48 reported yesterday.

After a tour, researcher of Arab and Islamic Antiquities and Holy Sites in Palestine, Abdul Raziq Matani, reported a series of attacks on holy sites, including mosques in Palestinian villages which were emptied of their residents to make way for the creation of the state of Israel.

The researcher said that mosques continue to fall and collapse, pointing out that Al-Ghabisiyya Mosque in Akka was recently vandalised.

Matani noted that the mosque and archaeological monuments in the displaced village have been subjected to excavation, digging and destruction several times.

“The new violations and destruction in Al-Ghabisiyya Mosque included new excavation and digging of the floor of the mosque and damaging and extracting stones from different places, including the foundation stones of the minbar – pulpit, which was completely destroyed,” he said.

He pointed out that after the minbar was destroyed and its stones were stolen, the bottom of it was excavated, as was the floor near the outer mihrab, which was vandalised several months ago.

Matani also documented a sharp increase in the cracks across the whole mosque, as well as in the tomb of Sheikh Samaan in the village of Kafr Saba.

Israel prevents renovation work from taking place at historical Palestinian sites across the country under the pretext they fall under its sovereignty.

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