Despite ongoing efforts to rescue the sacred site, a firm affiliated with the Israeli municipality in Safed has converted Al-Ahmar Mosque, a 13th century Palestinian mosque, into a bar and events hall, changing its name to Khan Al-Ahmar.
"Al-Ahmar Mosque derives its name from its red stones. Today, it is used in various ways but not as a prayer space for Muslims," said Dr. Abbasi, as quoted by Gulf News.
The mosque has been repurposed several times since Safed, an Arab city in northern occupied Palestine, was occupied by Jewish gangs in 1948, before which the city was reportedly home to some 12,000 Palestinians.
According to media reports, it was first transformed into a Jewish school, then used as a center for election campaigns, and later turned into a clothing warehouse. Its most recent purpose, and perhaps the most galling, is hosting a nightclub.
Khair Tabari, secretary of Safed and Tiberias Islamic Endowment, has been trying to save the historic site for years. He had filed a lawsuit demanding the mosque be returned to the endowment, with documents proving its Islamic ownership. The Nazareth court has not yet ruled on the years-old case.
"I felt dizzy when I noticed the vandalism inside the mosque, as can be seen by the remains of Qu'ranic verses which were removed from the pulpit and replaced by the Ten Commandments in Hebrew," Tabari told London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper.
The news comes around the same time as the eruption of fires in two historic landmarks on Monday. A massive fire broke out at the 850-year-old Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, a medieval Catholic sanctuary, ultimately leading to the collapse of its Gothic spire. At nearly the same time, a fire broke out at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam. The flames engulfed the Marwani Prayer Room, also known as Solomon's Stables.
Israel is accused of systematically targeting Islamic sites in Palestine "with the aim of obliterating their identity," according to Gulf News.
Al-Aqsa Mosque has witnessed several acts of violence since the Israeli army occupied Jerusalem in 1967. Israeli military forces have also carried several attacks on the site, launching random invasions on a daily basis.
"Jews have altered most mosques and Palestinian endowments, mainly in towns and villages where their local people were forced to leave and occupied by Jews, who evicted Muslims and Christians from them," said Palestinian Minister of Awqaf and Religious Affairs Yusuf Adais.
He went on to say, "They [Jews] have converted a large number of these sites into nightclubs,blew up some and turned others into synagogues."
China has adopted a similar tactic, destroying hundreds of mosques as part of its war against Uighur culture.