Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Hamas Destroys Part Of UNESCO Site To Make Room For Terror Camp

Anthedon Harbor in Gaza has been around for 3,000 years. UNESCO has placed it on its tentative list of ancient treasures, but it obviously didn't have much worth to the Gazans since Hamas razed part of the site to make room for a large military (read terror) training camp.

Perhaps the reason they have no respect for Anthedon Harbor is because it predates Islamic rule. Then again, Mali militants have destroyed designated UNESCO ancient sites in Timbuktu that were Islamic, so I guess it just doesn't matter. Violence trumps heritage in the case of some Muslims.

The military wing of Hamas, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, bulldozed a part of the ancient Anthedon Harbor in northern Gaza along the Mediterranean Sea last month, the Al-Monitor news website reported.

The 3,000-year-old seaport discovered in 1997 was named an international heritage site by UNESCO in 2012, and is the oldest harbor in Gaza. It contains mosaic floors with historical pillars from the Roman, Byzantine and Islamic ages, according to Al-Monitor.

“Due to rising population in the region, the ministry appreciates the urgent need for using new pieces of land,” the Hamas-run Ministry of Tourism said in a statement, Al-Monitor reported. “This is why the ministry has agreed with the different responsible parties on using a limited part of the location temporarily in a way that won’t harm the underground monuments there in any way.”

Much of the port is covered with sand to protect the artifacts until they can be excavated.

The deputy tourism minister in Gaza, Muhammad Khela, told Al-Monitor, “We can’t stand as an obstacle in the way of Palestinian resistance; we are all a part of a resistance project, yet we promise that the location will be limitedly used without harming it at all.” He added that if UNESCO had excavated the seaport, it could not have been taken over.

UNESCO is silent.

“UNESCO’s admission of Palestine as a member state in 2011, which caused the organization to lose almost a quarter of its budget when the U.S. suspended its contributions, was justified as a measure to help protect world heritage sites in Palestinian areas,” the letter said. “Yet as Hamas turns a cultural heritage site into a terrorist training ground — the antithesis of culture — the silence of UNESCO now places the very credibility of the organization at stake.” [Letter from UN Watch to UNESCO]

Remind me why we send Palestine aid?

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