Hamas continues to oppress Christians living under its rule, while Israel works to facilitate their right to religious expression.
Hamas authorities in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday issued notices to restaurants and hotels, banning establishments from throwing New Years Eve celebrations, a Gaza police spokesperson said.
The Palestinian Ma’an News Agency quoted Ayman al-Butneiji as saying that the notices were issued because New Years Eve celebrations, in the eyes of the Hamas-run Gazan government, “contradict” Islam, and “are mainly an imitation of the west.”
In related news, Christians in Palestinian controlled areas came under attack during Christmas.
In Bethlehem, “80 percent of the Christian community has fled, and is still fleeing, because of the Islamic oppression by the Palestinian Authority(PA),” stated pro-Israel Christian activist Laurie Cardoza-Moore in a recent interview. “Remember that it is not the Israeli government that oversees the city of Bethlehem; that’s the PA. Christians are fleeing a community where they resided for thousands of years, but which is now controlled by the PA.”
In the meantime, Israeli authorities have worked to facilitate such Palestinian celebrations and have also eased security restrictions on Palestinians in honor of the season’s holidays.
The measures were agreed upon following consultations of Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) with Christian representatives.