#96 Palestinian Brit - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • * BEN JABO
    • 18.03.07 | 01:57 (IST)

    If you're reprsentative of Bethlehem's Christian's, I'll agree, your full of it. Those idyllic conditions you described in Gaza are really another tale of the Arabian nightmare. I've quite a few articles on hand, describing the miserable condition of Arab Christian's under the lordship of their Muslim brothers. I'm including one article, if you wish to see more, just ask, will be happy to post them at no charge, gratis, nada............ A somber Christmas for Gaza's Christians By John Murphy Sun Foreign Reporter Originally published December 21, 2006 GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip // Not so long ago, Christmas was a holiday for more than the Gaza Strip's scattering of Christians. City officials hung ornaments and lights on a cypress tree in Gaza's main square and gave government workers the day off. On Christmas Eve, recalls Mona Qubrosy, a practicing Roman Catholic, hundreds of people, Christian and Muslim alike, would sit together in the pews of Gaza's only Catholic church for midnight Mass. But this Christmas season, Gaza's Christian community will be reminded of what a tiny minority they are. There will be no city Christmas tree. No public holiday, either. Qubrosy's husband, a schoolteacher, must work on Dec. 25. Her son, one of four Christians enrolled at Gaza's Islamic University, is scheduled on Christmas Day to take a final exam on the life of the Prophet Mohammad. Because of security concerns, the midnight Mass will be held at 7 p.m. "People want to celebrate but they cannot because of what's going on. We have to show solidarity with the Muslims. The other families are not happy so we can't be either," said Qubrosy. During the past six years of violence in the Middle East conflict, the Christmas season has been marked by muted celebrations among the Palestinian Christians. In Bethlehem, the traditional place of Jesus' birth now penned in by Israel's separation barrier, city officials are again anticipating a poor turnout at festivities planned on Manger Square. In Gaza, the mood is even more somber after a year that has brought Israeli military sieges, a debilitating economic boycott against the Hamas-led government and escalating violence between rival Palestinian political factions that many residents fear may devolve into all-out civil war. For Gaza's Christians, the situation is complicated by their precarious position as a shrinking minority in an increasingly conservative Muslim majority. Historically, relations between Muslims and Christians in the Holy Land have been good, and many Christians and Muslims say they've been drawn closer by the struggle against the Israeli occupation. But in the past year, their interfaith ties have been shaken by flare-ups of violence directed at Christians by some extremist groups and individuals. When a Dutch newspaper printed cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad earlier this year, sparking outrage among many Muslims, explosives were placed outside the meeting hall of a Baptist Bible study group and a group of Catholic nuns received death threats.

    from the article: Abbas swears in Hamas-Fatah unity government
    First published 00:00 17.03.07 | Last updated 00:00 17.03.07
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