Curious Gaza Strip residents on Thursday inspected a British navy cannon dating from 1910, which was put on display after it was hauled from the sea by local fishermen.
“The cannon is English-manufactured from 1910,” declared Saeed Nasser, mayor of the coastal town of Deir al-Balah, the off shores of which the seven-metre, 8.5-tonne gun was discovered.
“It was discovered among the remains of a sunken warship, presumably from the First World War,” Nasser said in a statement.
Gaza’s police chief Ayyub Abu Shaar told AFP that fishermen had come across the cannon and informed the police, who brought along a larger boat to haul it up.
Islamist rulers Hamas, sworn enemies of Israel, erected the gun on a platform at the entrance to Deir al-Balah, apparently pointing in the direction of Israeli city Tel Aviv, some 70 kilometres (40 miles) north of the besieged Palestinian territory.
The gun’s inscriptions say it dates from 1910, and local media reported that it would have been used against the Ottomans during the First World War, when British troops swept into Palestine from Egypt.
“This proves that Gaza is an important region and has seen many wars stretching all the way back to the Ottomans,” said local resident Ahmed Abu Fatayer, 24.
“The barrel has deliberately been pointed towards Tel Aviv to symbolise that the resistance will continue until Palestine is freed.”