//Skip to content
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Gaza’s Main Public Library Destroyed, Thousands of Books Lost

November 29, 2023

Gaza City’s main public library was found to be one of the numerous civilian buildings destroyed by the Israeli forces during the war on Gaza, according to a statement released by the Municipality of Gaza on Monday, 27 November. This discovery was made during the humanitarian truce.

Photographs of the library’s remnants, which was in regular use by members of the community, including schoolchildren, prior to the Hamas-led attack on Israel on October 7, have been released by the Municipality of Gaza. The Israeli army is alleged to have destroyed thousands of books and historical documents on purpose by Gaza’s municipal authorities.

“The bombing caused the burning and destruction of thousands of books, titles and documents documenting the city’s history and development, in addition to destroying the language courses hall in the library and other facilities belonging to the library,” the Municipality of Gaza wrote on Twitter.

Concerning the deliberate targeting of these facilities protected by international humanitarian law, the Municipality of Gaza have also demanded that the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) “intervene and protect cultural centres.”

The statement added that the war on Gaza demolished the city’s libraries and cultural centres, as well as the public library building, the Rashad Al-Shawa Cultural Centre, the Diana Tamari Sabbagh Library in the centre, the municipal printing press, and the Childhood Happiness Centre.

Palestinian cultural heritage has been described as “one of the most intensively abused, excavated, and subsequently disturbed worldwide” by Ahmad Rjoob of the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities.

“The Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and Israeli sources estimate that between 1967 and 1992, approximately 200,000 artefacts were removed from the occupied Palestinian territory annually,” with about 120,000 removed each year since 1995.

This loss of Palestinian cultural property is taking place in an environment in which Israel has used archaeology “as a pretext to gain territorial control” and exploit natural resources.

Comments (2)