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Palestinians slam Israeli soldiers 'burning Quran' in Gaza video

Palestinians slam video of Israeli soldiers ‘burning Quran’ and setting fire to library in Gaza
3 min read
24 May, 2024
A video which purportedly shows an Israeli soldier throwing a Quran into a fire in Gaza City has sparked anger and condemnation from many online.
An image shows the aftermath of Israeli bombardment in Gaza City [Getty]

A video that purportedly shows an Israeli soldier throwing a Quran into a fire in Gaza City has sparked widespread ire and condemnation from activists.

The video, which was shared by a Palestinian social media user based in Gaza on 21 May, was originally posted on the Instagram account of an Israeli soldier, it is reported.

The soldier is seen in uniform and carrying a gun and appears to throw the Islamic holy book onto the floor and into a fire.

The social media user says since posting the video, the Israeli soldier has gone on to change his profile name, delete his photo and switched to a private account.

According to local Palestinian news site Al Quds, the soldier is from the Givati Brigade and serves in the 435th Rotem Battalion.

Anadolu Agency reported that the Israeli Army Radio announced the army has launched an investigation into the incident.

"The soldier’s behaviour is not in line with the IDF’s values," the Israeli army said in a statement. "The IDF respects all religions and condemns such behaviour. An IDF investigation has been opened regarding the incident."

Online, activists have slammed the soldier for his actions, calling for him to be investigated and held accountable.

"I thought they were there to find hostages? No one should have any doubt that this is a genocide and a holocaust," one person said in response to the footage.

"This is yet another example of the occupation’s blatant disrespect for humanity, assaulting," another said.

Another image circulating on social media platforms also triggered outrage, as it shows an Israeli soldier who appears to have set fire to a library in Gaza.

Online, activists have claimed the library is part of Al-Aqsa University in Gaza City.

"Oh my god, my heart dropped. This is epistemicide. These aren’t just books, they are part of one’s identity, preserving knowledge, culture, and history. Destroying them erases entire worlds and silences voices that define who Palestinians are and their roots," one person wrote in response to the image.

"An occupation soldier takes a photo reading while the Al-Aqsa university library is burning behind him. The Mongols did it before them in the Baghdad library - enemies of humanity," another said.

The New Arab could not independently verify the authenticity of the videos.  

Other videos showing Israeli forces appearing to destroy places of worship and literature in Gaza have surfaced online.

Since the start of the war on the enclave on 7 October, there have been several instances of Israeli soldiers filmed tearing apart copies of the Quran.

The Omari Mosque in Gaza, believed to be one of the oldest in the region, was one of the holy sites destroyed in the ongoing bombardment, which has killed over 35,000 Palestinians and wounded at least 79,000 others.