30 September 2016
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  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato


    » 06/19/2013, 00.00

    PALESTINE

    Gaza: Hamas imposes Islamisation on schools, endangering Catholic institutions



    As of September, mixed classes will be banned for students over the age of ten. Even teachers will be strictly divided according to gender in order not to violate Sharia. The Church currently runs three schools with almost a thousand students, mostly Muslims. For the bishop of Jerusalem, "We have two alternatives: put pressure on the government or close."

    Gaza (AsiaNews) - Catholic schools in the Gaza Strip risk closure. The Hamas government is implementing legislation to prevent the presence of "non-Islamic" schools in their territory and those that do not conform to the rules, such as the strict separation between the sexes, will be closed.

    At present, there are three Catholic schools in the Gaza Strip: the school of the Latin Patriarchate, with approximately 370 students; a school run by the Sisters of the Holy Family, with 650 pupils; and the school of the Sisters of the Holy Rosary with about 100 boys.

    Most of the students are Muslim. The new law adopted by Hamas authorities will come into effect in September, at the start of the new school year.

    In recent weeks, Mgr Fouad Twal, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, has expressed more than once a desire to discuss the issue with Ismail Haniyeh, prime minister of Gaza. However, for now no talks are in sight.

    Interviewed by AsiaNews, Mgr William Shomali, Patriarchal Vicar of Jerusalem, said that the territory of Gaza is undergoing rapid Islamisation.

    "Hamas Islamists want to control education and divide schools with pupils over ten years of age according to sexes."

    The prelate said that the Church had found a solution to the problem by dividing pupils between boys and girls, with the first in the back of the classroom. However, the government rejected any alternative solution, and now wants to segregate teachers as well.

    According to Mgr Shomali, this step has stopped the establishment of three other Catholic institutions that had been in the planning for several years. To comply with the legislation would have meant spending several thousand dollars more, money the local church does not have.

    "Now," he said, "we have two alternatives: either try to put pressure on the Hamas government to water down the legislation, or close our schools, handing them over to Gaza authorities."

    "The schools are highly appreciated by Muslims who, thanks to the education offered, can see their children go to university," the bishop said.

    "However, the government does not support our plans. Indeed, it puts up obstacles. At the end of the year, our schools, which are mostly free, are always in debt." (S.C.)

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    See also

    24/07/2014 ISRAEL - PALESTINE
    Gaza war, the death toll grows; 150 Palestinians imprisoned and stripped naked
    The Palestinian death toll rises to 718; 32 Israeli soldiers and three civilians killed. Among these there is also a Thai migrant who worked in a garden centre near the Strip. Palestinians stripped naked because they were suspected of "terrorism". Uproar over unnecessary humiliation. Khaled Meshaal rejects any cease-fire. UN denounces use of schools in Gaza as a weapons depots. Ban on flights to and from Tel Aviv lifted, but the air traffic yet to return to normal.

    15/06/2010 PALESTINE – ISRAEL
    For Gaza priest, Israel’s occupation humiliates the Palestinian people
    “There are no differences between Christians and Muslims because we all suffer the same way,” Fr Manawel Musallam says. He is in favour of a dialogue with Israel, but wants to see “concrete steps” in defence of the population. “Many factors,” he believes, “prevent us from seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.”

    22/11/2012 ISRAEL - PALESTINE
    The cease-fire in Gaza holds: Hamas and Israel sing victory
    The truce demands an end to violence and attacks by both sides and the re-opening of the border crossings between Gaza and Egypt and Israel. Joyful celebrations in Gaza. Israel happy about the guarantees of peace for the southern populations. Mohamed Morsi applauded for his diplomatic contribution. The importance of the 500 tunnels between Egypt and Gaza for smuggling weapons and goods.

    19/12/2008 PALESTINE - ISRAEL
    Hamas declares an end to ceasefire with Israel
    The Palestinian militants accuse Israel of failing to ease its blockade of the Gaza Strip; Israel accuses Hamas of launching rockets and motor fire against Sderot. The ceasefire was frequently violated by both sides. The people of Israel and Gaza want the end of hostilities and the continuation of the truce.

    15/01/2009 ISRAEL – PALESTINE
    Gaza Christians, powerless victims
    Some 5,000 Christians amid 1.5 million people call the Gaza strip home. The parish priest of Gaza City keeps in touch with his parishioners via text messages. Those who have become homeless are sheltered by friends and relatives. Many use the oven in the Patriarchate’s school to bake break. Religious institutions outside the Strip are ready to take in children but cannot because of the Israeli blockade.



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