Masjid Mashhad Nabi Hussein
In July 1950, Majdal (renamed to Ashkelon after 1948) was still a mixed town. About 3,000 Palestinians lived there in a closed, fenced-off ghetto, next to the recently arrived Jewish residents. Before the 1948 war, Majdal had been a commercial and administrative center with a population of 12,000. It also had religious importance: nearby, amid the ruins of ancient Ashkelon, stood Mash'had Nabi Hussein, an 11th-century structure where, according to tradition, the head of Imam Husain Ibne Ali, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), was interred. Muslim pilgrims, both Shi'ite and Sunni, would visit the site. But after July 1950, there was nothing left for them to visit: that's when the Israel Defense Forces blew up Mash'had Nabi Hussein.
Israel destroyed more than 100 mosques in Palestinian villages incorporated into the state, including the site where the head of Imam Hussein (peace be upon him), the grandson of holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) was supposedly buried.
According to archives quoted by the Haaretz newspaper, Israel's legendary general Moshe Dayan -- himself an avid amateur archaeologist -- gave the order to blow up the mosque while he was a young lieutenant colonel.
The Mashhad Nabi Hussein mosque was blown up deliberately as part of a broader operation that included at least two additional mosques, one in Yavneh and the other in the nearby Mediterranean city of Ashdod. Of the 160 mosques in Palestinian villages incorporated into Israel under the armistice agreements, fewer than 40 are still standing.
Various holy sites were levelled despite protests from the then head of the Israeli antiquities department, Shmuel Yeivin, who believed that ancient sites and holy places needed to be preserved whoever they were sacred to.
The full story published in haaretz newspaper under caption "History Erased" (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/878851.html
) By Meron Rapoport