After 2,000 years, Christians disappearing from Gaza
Worshipers say they may be the last group of Christians in Gaza.
“The ongoing Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip and the highest unemployment rate in the world are prompting Christians to leave the besieged area in droves, some using the holiday season to their advantage.
“People might think we’re leaving because of Hamas, but no it’s because of … (Israeli) policies on Gaza,” Jaber Jilder, an official with the Greek Orthodox Church said.
Israeli sanctions on Gaza have made freedom of movement and goods almost non-existent, and have contributed to an economy that the World Bank said is on the “verge of collapse.” A United Nations report this year said the 2014 Israeli-Hamas war and the current blockade will make the Palestinian territory “unlivable” by 2020.
“Palestinian Christians … receive no tolerance or mercy from the Israeli occupation. Their land has been confiscated, their houses have been destroyed, and they have been subjected to daily humiliation on checkpoints when they travel,” he said. “Same discriminatory measures for everyone. Christians and Muslims."”