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ISLAMIC DESTRUCTION: ‘Palestinian’ Xtians bitter over destruction of church ruins in Gaza

“It’s obvious that Christian legacy and human beings are being targeted in our region,” cleric charges.

Palestinian Christians on Wednesday expressed anger over the way the Palestinian Authority and Hamas have handled the ancient ruins of a Byzantine church that were uncovered in Gaza City last week.

They said that bulldozers removed the antiquities and continued with their work without supervision. They accused the two big Palestinian parties of seeking to obliterate Christian history and identity in the Holy Land.

Construction workers found the remains of the 1,500-yearold church in Palestine Square in Gaza City, where a shopping mall is being built.

“Our first thought is that the site is a cathedral or a church from the Byzantine period,” said Jamal Abu Rida, head of the PA Antiquities Ministry, according to Reuters.

Although the ministry has great interest in preserving the remains, it lacks the means to do so, he said.

“The site we are talking about is 2,000 square meters and 10-meters deep and requires hundreds of workers and millions of dollars to carry out proper excavation to extract pieces and read the texts,” Abu Rida added, noting that his ministry has only 40 excavation workers.

The construction work is being carried in an area that is under the control of Hamas.

That is why some of the criticism is also being directed against the Hamas authorities in the Gaza Strip. Sources in the Gaza said that the Wakf (Islamic trust) Ministry in the Strip was responsible for the construction.

Some Palestinian Christians claimed that the construction workers moved the remains of the church out of their way and continued work at the site.

“They used bulldozers to remove the antiquities and no one ordered a freeze of the construction work at this important archeological site,” said Father Ibrahim Nairouz, a priest in the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem who lives in Nablus.

“Had they found the remains of a mosque or synagogue or any other ancient structure, would they have dealt with them in the same manner?” Nairouz asked. “Or are they doing this because it’s an ancient church?” His criticism came in a letter he wrote to PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and Minister of Antiquities and Tourism Rula Maa’yaa.

“It’s obvious that Christian legacy and human beings are being targeted in our region,” the priest charged.

He also accused the PA of giving Islamic names to


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