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Hiding in the shadow of the pastor in Gaza

Posted by on Jul. 23, 2014 at 9:54 PM
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 Gaza City -   Gaza's Greek Orthodox  Archbishop Alexios,  has not had much sleep in the past few days. He has been busy ensuring that scores of Palestinian families that sought refuge in his church,  the Church of Saint Prophyrius, are getting all the help they need.

"People did not know where to go. We had to help by opening the church's doors for women, babies, young and old people," Alexios told Al Jazeera. 

On Sunday, a few hundred people, mostly families escaping the death and destruction of Shujayea, came to the church, soaring the number of those sheltered in the church and the neighbouring mosque to at least 1,000

The gesture by the Greek Orthodox church sparked much solidarity in the community.

This is not the first time that churches are turned into refugee centres during times of war. Alexios recalled that in  previous wars,  there were fewer numbers of families.

"Now there is much destruction," he said.

The Israeli assault on Gaza, which enters its third week, has left at least 658 Palestinians dead, including 161 children and 60 women, and over 4,000 injured. Thousands of families were forced to flee their homes in search of a safe haven in the Strip. The UN estimates the number of internally displaced persons in the Strip to be at 118,300.

The churches of Gaza were among the very few places left where Palestinians can seek refuge - so far. But on Monday night, the nearby cemetery, located in the Roman Orthodox Church's yard, was hit in an Israeli strike. 

As a result, five Christian graveyards were destroyed and a funeral service car was hit by two Israeli tank shells, according to Kamel Ayad, director of public relations of the church. It also caused panic among the refugees. Some even left in the middle of the night, only to come back in the morning.

"If we ask why did they hit [the church], they [Israelis] will come up with an excuse. But what I know is that Israel announced that churches and mosques are protected areas, they are safe places," said Alexios.

During its 17-day assault, Israel's army has hit at least five mosques.

The Church of Saint Porphyrius, the Latin Catholic Church and the Holy Family church have also received a large number of displaced people. 

Read the rest here

I guess Palestinian christians are human shields for Hamas as well?

by on Jul. 23, 2014 at 9:54 PM
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AdrianneHill
by Ruby Member on Jul. 23, 2014 at 10:40 PM
Let's hope they'll respect "sanctuary" and not bomb the hell out of the churches.
But we all know that the terrorists will either store munitions amongst the children and wounded or the Israelis will claim that's what they are all doing.
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