Israel to turn historic Al Bahr mosque into museum

The Israeli authorities broke in historic Al-Bahr Mosque with the aim to turn it into a museum, which violates their agreement with the Palestinian authorities and community that guarantees maintenance of the mosque.

Al-Bahr mosque, Tiberias, Israel.

By Sohaila Barghash

Since the occupation in 1948, Israel has demolished hundreds of Palestinian mosques, cemeteries and other religious sites.

Furthermore, without consideration of their religious significance, those places were converted into bars and night clubs in Jaffa, Lod, Al-Ramla, Ashkelon and other cities.

This is not the first time the agreement, which was founded in the year 2000 has been violated. For instance, Israel is trying to demolish the Palestinian heritage and one way is through the destruction of Christian and Muslim religious sites alike.

Even though, one fifth of all Israeli citizens are Palestinians, the so-called “Arab-Israelis”, they are facing continued institutionalised discrimination at the hands of the state.

Mohammad Baraka, the Chairman of the High Committee for Arab Citizens, has said in a response that the Arab citizens in Israel would never accept such a move as he vowed to protect the mosque and other holy places.

Al-Bahr (“The Sea”) Mosque was built in 1743, by the Muslim ruler of Tiberias, Al-Zaher Omar, and is located on the shore of Lake Tiberias (also known as the Sea of Galilee).

However, Muslims have not been allowed to enter it ever since the occupation of Palestine in 1948, neither for worship purposes nor for keeping it occupied and clean.

The authorities of the Israeli occupation are displacing Muslims and Christians alike from Palestine and confiscating their religious endowments.

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