(Twitter Screenshot)
Jewish WWI graves

The cemetery, it turned out, was one of the fallen British soldiers of World War I.

By Troy O. Fritzhand, The Algemeiner

Soldiers in the IDF’s 188th Brigade were surprised to find Jewish gravestones during fighting in the Gaza Strip. According to reports in Hebrew media, the soldiers were operating in the central Gaza town of Al-Maazi when they noticed Stars of David on some of the tombstones at a cemetery in the town.

The cemetery, it turned out, was one of the fallen British soldiers of World War I who fought in the land of Israel against the Ottoman Empire some 110 years ago. The photos of the gravesite holding an Israeli flag went viral on social media due to the irony of the situation. One of the soldiers there, Lt. Col. Oren, told Hebrew media “It was damaged a bit in the battles, but it can be restored. We noticed the stars of David on the tombstones and names like Goldreich. We returned after a few days to the place and said Kaddish on the graves after many years.” The kaddish prayer is one typically said by Jews to honor the dead.

According to the troops, there are seven Jewish tombstones in the cemetery that was found near a Hamas weapons cache. Oren added “We also found there, next to the cemetery, a cache for the production of many weapons. We did not check if there was an underground tunnel under the cemetery because we did not want to harm its sanctity. In other cemeteries, we located combat tunnels that Hamas had built underneath. We were amazed that we found such a pure place in this cursed area.”

The land of Israel was a central battleground during World War I, after which the British took reign of the land from the Ottomans who had controlled it for centuries prior. Due to their control of the land for three decades, there are today eight British military cemeteries spread across the country, many of those buried being British soldiers or policemen.