ICBS Statement on Conflict in Gaza Cultural Heritage in Gaza, 18 February 2009

The Gaza Strip is a coastal strip of land on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea bordering Egypt and Israel.

The legal status of the Gaza strip is disputed, Israel maintains that its occupation of Gaza, as defined by Article 6 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, ended following the completion of its unilateral disengagement plan in 2005, asserting that Israel has no functions of government in the Gaza Strip. This is not accepted by the UN, Human Rights Watch and many other international bodies and NGOs, who still consider Israel to be the occupying power.

ICBS Statement on Conflict in Gaza Cultural Heritage in Gaza Damaged and in Great Danger
18 February 2009

There have been reports that two municipal libraries in Amoghazi and in Juhur‐el‐Deek were completely destroyed and that the libraries of the Islamic University and the Tal el‐Hawa branch of the al‐Aqsa University were severely damaged. Sadly we have to assume that civil records have been destroyed in the violence of the recent period.

In 1998, ten museums were registered in Gaza and on the West Bank,while this number was reduced to five in 2002, and the number of visitors had decreased dramatically. In August 2008 the first archaeological museum in Gaza was opened, privately funded and with support of the Geneva Musée d’art et d’histoire.

This private antiquities museum run by Gazan collector Jawdat Khoudary, has now been damaged. Furthermore, preliminary reports, still to be verified, of damage to cultural heritage sites, including excavated archaeological sites, are cause for alarm.

קראו את הצהרת הלמ”ס על עזה ICBS statement_Gaza (Hebrew) 18-02-2009

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