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Today's Top Five


1. "We all hope it will be better, but it will never ever be good with Hamas"
"Masked gunmen used rocket-propelled grenades to storm the main entrances of the school and church," Roman Catholic priest Manuel Musalam (alt. spelling: Mussalem) told The Jerusalem Post. "Then they destroyed almost everything inside, including the Cross, the Holy Book, computers and other equipment." Every cross inside the church and school was destroyed, he said.

Musalam said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called him to condemn the attack and to promise he'd work against future attacks on Christians. In a separate story, Abbas told the Post, "The torching of the church is one of the fruits of the bloody coup that Hamas staged in the Gaza Strip."

Hamas spokesmen told the Post and the Associated Press that Hamas had nothing to do with the attack and promised to "punish anyone who targets churches." But Christians in Gaza are still very worried about their future under Hamas.

"I can't predict what will happen, but one thing is for certain: There is a group within Hamas which is starting to talk of the Islamization of society. Right now they are a small group, but the more pressure is put on, the more extreme they will become," Omar Shaban, Catholic Relief Services project manager for Gaza, told Catholic News Service. "With Fatah as a secular organization we had no problems, but with Hamas I am not sure how they will perceive us."

One Christian teenager in Gaza told Catholic News Service, "We all hope it will be better, but it will never ever be good with Hamas."

The Jerusalem Post notes:

Several Christian institutions in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank have been targeted by masked gunmen over the past few months.
Last April, a bookstore ...
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Catholic School and Church Attacked as Gaza's Christians Worry
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