Gaza residents protested the bulldozing of the ancient site of Tell Es-Sakan, claiming that Hamas was trying to wipe out Palestinian history and heritage and calling for the immediate intervention of UNESCO to halt the bulldozers. Some are comparing what Hamas is doing at Tell Es-Sakan to the destruction of the millennia-old Buddha statues in Afghanistan, said Palestinian writer Nasser Al-Lifawi, and activist Bakar Al-Trukemani said that what was happening at the archaeological site was "a farce, targeting Palestinian history and the indigenous Palestinian race." The report on the protests was broadcast on Alaan TV on October 17.
Protestors: "How could you destroy this place?
"How could you destroy this place?
"Our heritage is our identity.
"Our heritage is our identity."
Narrator: "With these furious slogans, the Gazans expressed their denunciation of the recent bulldozing of the Tell Es-Sakan archeological site by Hamas. They carried placards condemning the targeting of this most important ancient archeological site."
Bakar Al-Trukemani: "This is the original Palestinian heritage. Here lies the first original Palestinian brick."
Narrator: "Archeologists and professors of ancient history said that this site conceals a large number of outstanding finds, including fortifications, residential buildings, towers, floors, and cultic places, from 4,500 years ago."
Nasser Al-Lifawi: "The bulldozing of this site is dangerous for several reasons. First of all, this is the destruction of Palestinian history. When those merciless bulldozers were filmed killing the history of our nation, it was said that what the Gazans and the Palestinian gangs in Gaza were doing is identical to what the Taliban did in Tora Bora [sic], Afghanistan, when it destroyed Buddha statues that were thousands of years old."
Bakar Al-Trukemani: "What is happening at the Tell Es-Sakan archeological site is a farce, targeting Palestinian history and the indigenous Palestinian race.
"This site goes back to 3500 BCE. That's 1,200 years earlier than the pyramids."
Narrator: "Among the denunciations of the actions of Hamas in Gaza, and the accusations that Hamas was striving to wipe out the Palestinian identity, there were calls for the immediate intervention by UNESCO, to protect what remained of the site, and to issue a resolution demanding a stop to the bulldozing works."