05/16/2008, 00.00
PALESTINE
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Bomb against Gaza’s Rosary School

Before dawn today a powerful explosion woke up the city. Fortunately the bomb did not injure anyone. Since Hamas took over the territory attacks against its tiny Christian community have increased. The latest is the second attack against the school in less than a year. The institution is run by nuns and much appreciated by Muslims.

Gaza (AsiaNews/Agencies) – A bomb exploded at 4 am in front of the Zahwa Rosary School in Gaza, damaging the entrance without injuring anyone. The powerful explosion was heard however in surrounding neighbourhoods. So far no one has claimed responsibility for the attack as Hamas police investigates the matter.

The school, which is run by Catholic nuns and caters mainly to Muslim students, was ransacked in June  2007 by unknown assailants along with the nuns' adjacent convent and chapel during a week of intense fighting that ended with Hamas' seizure of power. Furniture and sacred images were burnt and computers were stolen.

This bombing is the latest in a string of attacks on Christian institutions in the overwhelmingly Muslim territory. In the most serious attack, a local Christian activist was murdered in October. His killers have not been found.

About 3,200 Christians live in Gaza among 1.4 million Muslims. Relations between Christians and Muslims have traditionally been good, and Christians have held a respected place in Gaza's society as members of the territory's small elite, running schools, hospitals and businesses.

But the tiny community has grown increasingly uneasy since Hamas routed forces of the secular Fatah movement and became the sole power in the territory.

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