A rocket fired by Hamas militants hit a mosque near Jerusalem dedicated to Akhmat Kadyrov, a Chechen separatist fighter in the 1990s who later switched sides and pledged allegiance to Russia, Israel’s foreign ministry reported Monday.
According to the ministry, a Hamas rocket “directly hit the Akhmat Kadyrov mosque,” the second-largest mosque in Israel. No injuries were reported.
Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, the son of Akhmat Kadyrov, opened the mosque in the village of Abu Ghosh in 2014.
The Abu Ghosh administration said at the time that the mosque cost nearly $10 million to construct, $6 million of which was provided by Chechnya.
Some researchers say that the present-day residents of Abu Ghosh are the descendants of Chechens who moved to the lands of the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century.
Israel on Sunday formally declared war against Hamas after it launched an unprecedented attack against the country, which by Monday had already resulted in the deaths of more than 1,200 people in both Israel and Gaza.
Russia’s Embassy in Tel Aviv said Monday that at least one Russian citizen had been killed and four others were missing after the attack.
Russia has called for Israeli and Palestinian forces to end the armed hostilities, asking “the Palestinian and Israeli sides to immediately ceasefire, renounce violence, show the necessary restraint.”
AFP contributed reporting.