IDF soldiers establish a synagogue in Gaza

A few weeks ago, IDF soldiers also came across a synagogue in Gaza City dating back from the Byzantine era in the 6th century.

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

IDF soldiers have established a synagogue called Heichel Avraham in the heart of Gaza and have added benches and prayer books, according to Walla.

Outside of the building are posted times for prayer which are updated daily.

This isn’t the first time since the ground invasion that the IDF has prayed at a synagogue.

Troops came across a synagogue in Gaza City dating back from the Byzantine era in the 6th century.

Although the soldiers weren’t allowed to share photographs for security reasons, Michael Freund, founder of the Shavei Israel organization, posted on X:

“For the first time in decades, Israeli soldiers prayed in the ancient synagogue in Gaza, which was built in the 6th century and where a beautiful mosaic floor depicting King David was unearthed years ago. Jews have returned to Gaza!!”

The mosaic Freund describes was recovered during the Six-Day War in 1967 after Israel captured the Gaza Strip.

Although the face of the male figure is badly damaged, the mosaic retains its beauty and characteristics of the Byzantine period. It is currently displayed at the Israel Museum.

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Egyptian archaeologists originally believed the mosaic was from a church and the human figure was mistaken for a female saint or the Greek god Orpheus. However, the figure is King David, as evidenced by its inscription with the name “David” in Hebrew, and depicts the Biblical shepherd turned king playing a harp to calm animals.

The synagogue is located in the Rimal district in Gaza City, which was once a bustling port. It dates from 508 C.E. and has many of the hallmarks of Byzantine art and architecture.

A replica of the mosaic can be viewed at the Good Samaritan Museum on the Jerusalem-Jericho Road in Ma’ale Adumim in Judea.