Torched! Hamas Destroys Gaza Church & School in Clashes
Hamas gunmen stormed a Christian Church and convent in Gaza during fighting last week. The militants used rocket-propelled grenades to storm the main entrances of the school and church where they torched, ransacked and looted the facilities. Gunmen used the roof of the school during the clashes between Fatah and Hamas.
The Independent Online reported:
Gaza City – A school and convent belonging to the Gaza Strip’s tiny Roman Catholic community were ransacked, burned and looted during clashes around a major security headquarters, the head of the community said on Monday.
Crosses were broken, a statue of Jesus was damaged, and prayer books were burnt at the Rosary Sisters School and nearby convent, said Father Manuel Musallem, head of Gaza’s Latin church.
The damage took place on Thursday, but wasn’t reported until days later because of the chaos that has prevailed since Islamic Hamas militants wrested power in Gaza, Musallem said. The religious compound is located near a key security headquarters Hamas captured on Thursday on the final day of its Gaza takeover.
The Jerusalem Post has more on the destruction by Hamas radicals:
“The masked gunmen used rocket-propelled grenades to storm the main entrances of the school and church,” he said. “Then they destroyed almost everything inside, including the Cross, the Holy Book, computers and other equipment.”
Musalam expressed outrage over the burning of copies of the Bible, noting that the gunmen destroyed all the Crosses inside the church and school. “Those who did these awful things have no respect for Christian-Muslim relations,” he said.
He estimated damages at more than $500,000. “Those who see the destruction will realize how bad this attack was,” he said. “Christians have been living in peace and security with Muslims for many years, but those who attacked us are trying to sabotage this relationship.”
Gunmen used the roof of the school during the fighting, and the convent was “desecrated,” Mussalem said.
Hamas militants used the roof of Rosary Sister’s School during the clashes with Fatah. (Maan)
In 2001 the church was forced to cancel Christmas and hold services without music.