Photo by Hershel Shanks

Menorah Relief

Location: On a column in the Great Mosque of Gaza

Inscription: Hannaniah, son of Jacob (in Hebrew and Greek)

History: The inscribed column probably originally graced a Byzantine synagogue; Hannaniah, who is mentioned in the inscription, was presumably a donor who helped build the structure. When the Crusaders built the Church of St. John the Baptist in Gaza in the 12th century, they reused the inscribed drum in the upper register of columns in the church’s nave. When the Muslims converted the church into the Great Mosque of Gaza, the inscription remained undisturbed. It was obliterated only during the Palestinian uprising against Israel known as the Intifada.

Date destroyed: between December 1987 and August 1993.