Israeli soldiers have converted a Palestinian building into a Jewish synagogue during their ground operation in northern Gaza, local media reported Wednesday.
The Jerusalem Post said that “Israeli soldiers have established a synagogue in the heart of the Gaza Strip during the ground invasion.”
The newspaper did not specify the location of the converted building but published photos of the entrance, which features a large sign that reads “Abraham Temple.” Other photos showed the interior with seats and a table with Jewish religious books on it.
“The soldiers converted one of the buildings into a space for them to pray. They added benches and a table to place their prayer books,” the report said.
“According to the government press office's documentation, the synagogue was named Abraham Temple and it has a sign inside showing the times for prayer, which are updated daily,” it said.
“In early November, IDF soldiers prayed in a 6th-century synagogue in Gaza, the first time in close to two decades that Jews were allowed to worship at this holy site.”
“The ancient synagogue of Gaza, dating back to 508 CE during the Byzantine period, was unearthed in 1965,” the report said.
“Situated in what was once the bustling port city of Gaza, known as ‘Maiuma’ or El Mineh (the harbor) at the time, this historical site now resides within the Rimal district of Gaza City.”
However, it appears that the synagogue established by the Israeli soldiers is in a different building from the one where they performed prayers earlier in November, according to the report.
*Writing by Rania Abu Shamala