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Gaza’s Christians and Muslims grow closer in defiance of Israeli attacks

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Gaza’s Christians and Muslims grow closer in defiance of Israeli attacks

By Mohammed Omer (Middle East Eye)

GAZA CITY – Without prior warning, an Israeli missile hit the house of the Ayyad family last Saturday. The Ayyads, who are Christian, were the first family among the tiny minority in Gaza to be targeted since the offensive began three weeks ago.

The Ayyad’s home was severely damaged. Furniture was ruined and family belongings such as children’s toys were strewn everywhere as a result of the missile’s impact. But naturally the human cost was much greater.

Jalila Ayyad was known among the people of Gaza as a woman that had nothing to do with any militia groups.  “We are a Christian minority and have no links to Hamas or Fatah – we keep to ourselves and avoid problems,” says Fouad Ayyad, Jalila’s nephew.

Fouad is also the name of the bereaved husband of Jalila Ayyad. Standing in a white T-shirt stained with the blood of his wife and son – who was also seriously injured in the attack – he watches on as the nephew is interviewed.

 

Many tears were shed among the Christian minority at the service (AA)

A memorial service was held on Sunday for Ayyad at Porphyrius Greek Orthodox Church on Sunday. The church has become a haven not just for Christian but also hundreds of Muslim families seeking shelter there as the offensive drags on.

“The church has been our hosts for the past two weeks, offering food, clothes and whatever we needed, their loss is our loss, their pain is our pain,” says 45-year-old Abu Khaled.

At the memorial service for Jalila, Archbishop Alexios said: “Another human being, an innocent one, has lost her life.” In the pews, crowds of Palestinian Christians sobbed as first from their tiny minority to be killed in the conflict was laid to rest.

In something that surprised local journalists, Jalila’s body was carried by both Muslims and Christians to the grave. It seems the shared wounds, mourning and rage are bridging past divides in war-ravaged Gaza.

Last week, Gaza’s Greek Orthodox Church also sustained damage by Israeli artillery shelling. Fifteen graves were damaged and damage was also caused to the Church’s sole hearse, says Kamel Ayyad, a parish member.

“The world must realise that Israel’s missiles don’t differentiate between Christians and Muslims,” said Abu.

At the memorial service a sad young man surrounded by attendees dressed in black gave a speech on behalf of the Greek Orthodox community and questioned the position of the international community in dealing with Israel’s crimes.

“Here is a Palestinian, an Arab, a Christian woman, martyred by Israeli shelling,” he said. “Bombs slammed into us and killed without differentiating between civilians and combatants,” he adds.

Christians and Muslims both helped to carry the coffin to the grave (AA)

Father Manuel Musallam, a former priest of the Latin Church, has always been an advocate for Palestinian unity.

“When they destroy your mosques, call your prayers from our churches”. 

There are approximately 1,500 Christians in Gaza. Mosques stand next to churches along the thin coastal enclave. George Ayyad, a relative of Jalila, rejects the idea that Christians will leave Gaza after this incident.

“This is exactly what the Israelis want, but where should we go?” he questions, before he continues “This is my homeland and we are Christians here in Gaza for more than 1,000 years and we will remain.”

During the memorial, bible scriptures were recited before Ayyad’s body was carried out and placed in a simple white coffin that had been decorated with a black cross.

Homeless Christians and Muslims brought out her remains together in the same community where Jalila will be buried, in the town she was born: in Gaza.

A Virgin Mary icon was placed in Jalila’s coffin while her relatives sang “Hallelujah.”

– See more at: http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/gazas-christians-and-muslims-grow-closer-defiance-israeli-attacks-372261379#sthash.vrx8ElCQ.dpuf

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  • Solid Snake

    Speaking of an Orwellian state, I highly recommend Goliath: Life and Loathing In Greater Israel. I have to admit, its a very tough read, not because of the writing but because of the content. You are horrified, saddened, and angered all at the same time. I highly recommend it to understand the whole picture.

  • Awesome

    And that is the downside to using an adjective for a username.

  • Lithium2006

    Very Orwellian of the “only democracy in the Middle East.” One country that comes close in its denying of human rights violations is North Korea. I remember watching a documentary not too long ago about how the tourist guides in the North have prepared talking points if any of the foreigners ask questions regarding NKs brutal treatment of it citizens. Very pathetic how the guide kept changing positions when one tourist demanded why every where they went, the,y saw no citizens like in the hospital.

  • Friend of Bosnia

    Quite the same false arguments the Serbo fascists use to whitewash themselves for the genocidal anti-Bosniak crusade. It’s the same old same old everywhere. And since they repeat it always I think they’re actually insulting our intelligence, or continuing to taunt us. It’s part of their psychological warfare and war propaganda.

  • The greenmantle

    🙂 This is the internet I consider my self too old for Rock and roll but too young to die

    Sir David

    “Too Old To Rock ‘n’ Roll: Too Young To Die”

    The old Rocker wore his hair too long,

    wore his trouser cuffs too tight.

    Unfashionable to the end — drank his ale too light.

    Death’s head belt buckle — yesterday’s dreams —

    the transport caf’ prophet of doom.

    Ringing no change in his double-sewn seams

    in his post-war-babe gloom.

    Now he’s too old to Rock’n’Roll but he’s too young to die.

    He once owned a Harley Davidson and a Triumph Bonneville.

    Counted his friends in burned-out spark plugs

    and prays that he always will.

    But he’s the last of the blue blood greaser boys

    all of his mates are doing time:

    married with three kids up by the ring road

    sold their souls straight down the line.

    And some of them own little sports cars

    and meet at the tennis club do’s.

    For drinks on a Sunday — work on Monday.

    They’ve thrown away their blue suede shoes.

    Now they’re too old to Rock’n’Roll and they’re too young to die.

    So the old Rocker gets out his bike

    to make a ton before he takes his leave.

    Up on the A1 by Scotch Corner

    just like it used to be.

    And as he flies — tears in his eyes —

    his wind-whipped words echo the final take

    and he hits the trunk road doing around 120

    with no room left to brake.

    And he was too old to Rock’n’Roll but he was too young to die.

    No, you’re never too old to Rock’n’Roll if you’re too young to die.

    Jethro Tull

  • Jekyll

    Let’s not forget Edward Said

  • Heinz Catsup

    It seems kinda weird though for CBN, whose owner is a complete xenophobe, to be posting an article on the suffering of palestinian christians. Maybe it’s just me.

  • Awesome

    Do you have something substantial to refute what has been reported besides an unsubstantiated wikipedia claim and calling it “BS”?

  • Jekyll

    Well I consider myself a young man in fifties

  • Solid Snake

    Just right click on image, and choose copy image url and paste it in the comment box. You talk like you’re 80 years old lol

  • Solid Snake
  • Jekyll
  • Solid Snake

    Whoa there, I think you prematurely skipped down the script, wasnt it:

    (Defending Israel for the aspiring hasbarist or students hired temporarily by the govt of Israel)

    1: They were Hamas Militants
    2.They were willing human shields.
    3. We warned them with a mini bombing but they refused to leave (their legs were blown off, see number 2)
    4. Palestinians performing ritual sacrifice of children.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    45. They were really Muslims (so its ok)
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    601. Terror tunnels
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    768. Palestinians get paid rent to keep Hamas rockets in their apartments.
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .1044. They wanted to be martyrs!
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    1999. There are no Christians in Gaza (Ah heres the one!)
    2000. There no such things as Palestinians (Fakestinians if u will.)

    *All statements are true and have been expressed by Israeli officials or official Israeli propaganda.

  • Baktashi

    People should also be made aware that Hamas isn’t the only resistance fighting group in Gaza. You also got secularist/marxist Liberation Fronts, Islamic Jihad, and another one I can’t remember. Some of these include Christian fighters as well, and all of them work together as the cause is common.

  • mindy1

    How poignant :'( I just hope the current truce holds, so all this death can stop

  • Tanveer ¯_(ツ)_/¯ Khan

    “There are no Christians in Gaza”

  • Gosttt

    Do you have some trustworthy source, not this BS?

  • Gosttt
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