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Syrian rebels claim Assad completely destroyed Eliyahu Hanavi synagogue

By Mason White 2:48 PM May 28, 2014
The Eliyahu Hanavi synagogue completely flattened 

By: Aarav Sen
The oldest synagogue in Syria, was completely destroyed this week and the rebel forces claim that the government is to blame.

The Eliyahu Hanavi synagogue, which is located in the Damascus suburb of Jobar, was flattened over the weekend.

The attack not only ruined a site that is at least 400 years old, it also destroyed thousands of irreplaceable Jewish artifacts that were held at the synagogue. The area where the synagogue once stood has been under bombardment by forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for months.

The Syrian regime is laying siege to the city, one of the few rebel strongholds in the area. All this is part of what the opposition calls for Assad’s policy of random and violent attacks against the civilian population.

Shlomo Bolts, an official of the Syrian American Council, said that he is extremely distraught about the incident. Before the war, the synagogue held thousands of religious and cultural treasures, including old Torah scrolls, historical texts and Judaica of all kinds.

Some of the items were already looted in the early days of the war. The Eliyahu Hanavi synagogue was built in honor of the prophet Eliyahu.

The site has been a Jewish pilgrimage destination for centuries. It is said to have been built over the cave where Eliyahu hid from his pursuers.