Radical Islamists in Gaza wage war on Christmas

Palestinian Christians living in Gaza are under threat not to celebrate Christmas, a flyer circulated by an Islamist group reveals.

By Yona Schnitzer/TPS

A flyer circulated by the Al-Nasser Salah al-Deen Brigades, a coalition of small-scale Islamist groups operating in Gaza, warns the 1,300 Christians living in Gaza, as well as Muslims looking to take part in the holiday festivities, that celebration of the Christian holiday is forbidden by Islam.

The leaflet includes quotes from the Koran alongside a burning Christmas tree.

Israel, however, has taken special measures to assist Palestinian Christians in observing the holiday. On December 19th, Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) Maj. Gen. Kamil Abu Rukun met with various Palestinian leaders, including some residing in the Gaza Strip, presenting special measures such as more flexibility in granting permits for Christian Gazans to visit family members both in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and abroad via Ben Gurion Airport.

Roughly 50 percent of all Christians living in Gaza have received these special permits.