Hamas has destroyed the ruins of an 1800-year-old Byzantine church that was recently unearthed in Gaza City.
Bulldozers were used to destroy some of the church artifacts; some Palestinian Christians accused both Hamas and the PA of copying ISIS tactics to demolish historic sites.
"Where are the heads of the churches in Jerusalem and the world?... Where are the Vatican and UNESCO? Where are the leaders and politicians who talk, talk, talk about national unity and the preservation of holy sites? Or is this a collective conspiracy to end our existence and history in the East?" — Sami Khalil, a Christian from the West Bank city of Nablus.
The plight of Palestinian Christians does not interest the international community. That is because Israel cannot be blamed for demolishing the antiquities. If the current policy against Christians persists, the day will come when no Christians will be left in Bethlehem.
Defying belief, bulldozers were used to destroy some of the church artifacts, drawing sharp criticism from Palestinian Christians, some of whom rushed to accuse both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) of copying ISIS tactics to demolish historic sites.
For Palestinian Christians, the destruction of the church ruins is yet a further attempt by Palestinian Muslim leaders to efface both Christian history and signs of any Christian presence in the Palestinian territories.
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Hamas claims that it does not have the resources to preserve the ancient site of the church. Preserving the Christian site, they say, would require millions of dollars and hundreds of workers at a time when the Islamist movement is facing a financial crisis due to the ongoing "blockade" on the Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian Authority, for its part, maintains that, as it is not in control of the Gaza Strip, the destruction of antiquities is out of its hands. Still, the PA leadership in the West Bank has not come out publicly against the demolition. This is the same PA that promotes a stabbing and car-ramming "intifada" for the Jews' "desecrating" the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem by touring the Temple Mount under police protection.
Palestinians: Erasing Christian History
by Khaled Abu Toameh
April 12, 2016 at 5:00 am