Palestinian Christian activist stabbed to death in GazaBarely two weeks ago, Khaled Abu Toameh reported from Gaza about an attack there on an 80 year old Christian woman and the steadily-worsening situation facing Christians wherever Hamas exercises control. His article was entitled: Gaza: Christian-Muslim tensions heat up. True to form, his politically-not-so-correct insights were read by the readers of the Jerusalem Post and almost no one else.
7th october 2007
By The Associated Press
A Palestinian Christian activist who had received repeated death threats was found stabbed to death in a street in Gaza City early Sunday. Rami Khader Ayyad, 32, was director of the Teacher's Bookshop, Gaza's only Christian bookstore, which is run by the Bible Society of Gaza Baptist church.
Health Ministry officials confirmed his death. Ayyad had been missing since Saturday evening. Over the years he had received repeated death threats from unidentified people displeased with his missionary work. The Interior Ministry run by Gaza's Islamic militant Hamas rulers condemned the killing and said it launched an investigation.
"This grave crime will not pass without punishment," the ministry said in a statement.
About 3,200 Christians live in Gaza, most of them Greek Orthodox. Relations with Gaza's Muslims are generally good, and have not deteriorated since Hamas wrested control of the strip in mid-June. But there have been occasional acts of violence, and in April, a bomb severely damaged the Palestinian Bible Society building in Gaza, which has been operating since 1999.
Meanwhile for those interested in a more optimistic viewpoint, there's a July 2007 article "Yes, You Can Work With Hamas", authored by Prof. Augustus Richard Norton of Boston University, and Harvard University Middle Eastern Studies scholar Sara Roy, and carried in the Christian Science Monitor. Our $0.02 worth: working with Hamas is a fine idea, provided you're comfortable with the misery, the hatred and the terror engendered, encouraged, initiated and implemented by the jihadists on their neighbours across the fence and to a depressing extent to their neighbours down the street.
That may be a niche market. But sadly it's not a small one.