Chechen Leader Dedicates Israel's Biggest Mosque

Among mosques in Israel, only the Al-Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount is larger than the 32,000 square meter mosque at Abu Ghosh.

Gil Ronen ,

Abu Ghosh mosque
Abu Ghosh mosque
Flash 90
The head of the Russian republic of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, inaugurated on Sunday Israel's largest mosque, in a village near Jerusalem whose inhabitants claim descent from Muslim migrants from the Caucasus.

"Chechens were only able to declare their nationality freely 11 years ago thanks to Akhmad Kadyrov who drafted the Chechen constitution and enabled us to say to the world we are Muslim Chechens," he told the gathering.

The new $10-million (7.2 million euros) mosque in the Israeli Arab village of Abu Ghosh, to which Chechnya donated $6 million, is named for the Chechen strongman's father and previous president, Akhmad Kadyrov, who was killed in a bomb attack in 2004.

The new mosque can accommodate more than three thousand worshippers and covers an area of 3,200 square meters (34,400 square feet).

Among mosques in Israel, only the Al-Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount is larger.

Villagers on foot and on horseback waved Chechen flags as Kadyrov arrived.

Inside the mosque he joined locals in prayer.

Abu Ghosh mayor Issa Jabr said that the village had ongoing contacts with Chechnya.

"We visited them in 2010 and we talked about communication and cultural exchange," he told AFP.

Interior of Abu Ghosh mosque Flash 90