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Monday, 8 October 2007

Prominent Christian kidnapped and murdered in Gaza

Palestinian Christian activist stabbed to death in Gaza

A Palestinian Christian activist who had received repeated death threats was found stabbed to death in a street in Gaza City early Sunday.

Rami Khader Ayyad, 32, was director of the Teacher's Bookshop, Gaza's only Christian bookstore, which is run by the Bible Society of Gaza Baptist church.

Health Ministry officials confirmed his death.

Ayyad had been missing since Saturday evening. Over the years he had received repeated death threats from 'unidentified people' displeased with his missionary work.

The Interior Ministry run by Gaza's Islamic militant Hamas rulers condemned the killing and said it launched an investigation.

"This grave crime will not pass without punishment," the ministry said in a statement.

About 3,200 Christians live in Gaza, most of them Greek Orthodox. Relations with Gaza's Muslims are generally good, and have not deteriorated since Hamas wrested control of the strip in mid-June.

But there have been occasional acts of violence, and in April, a bomb severely damaged the Palestinian Bible Society building in Gaza, which has been operating since 1999.

Mr Bagel: Selling books and being a Christian means you're an activist? It's a sad day when a Christian bookseller can be compared to an Islamic terrorists under the 'one size fits all' AP sanitized term 'Activist'.

If we look at a less appeasing article that appeared in the Christian based Adventist Press Service (APD) the language isn't so 'mellow'.

Christian Bookstore Manager in Gaza City kidnapped and murdered

The manager of the Gaza Strip's only all-Christian bookstore was found stabbed to death on Sunday (October 7) in what appears to have been an act of aggression. Rami Khader Ayyad, a prominent Gaza Christian, disappeared on Saturday (October 6), following months of death threats from local Muslims.

Ayyad ran the Teacher's Bookshop, which is a ministry of the Palestinian Bible Society (PBS) and the local Gaza Baptist Church. Ayyad was accused by area Muslims of spreading the Gospel. The 32-year-old Ayyad left two young children and a pregnant wife.

The body bore a visible gunshot wound to the head, and an official at Gaza's Shifa Hospital said he was also stabbed numerous times. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh condemned the killing and said the Islamist movement "would not allow anyone to sabotage" Muslim-Christian relations.

We feel Rami was killed for his Christian faith," said Simon Azazian, a spokesman at the Bible Society's head office in Jerusalem

Gaza's 2,500 Christians, who live among 1.5 million Muslims, have increasingly become a target of aggression since Hamas wrested control of Gaza last June.

The Palestinian Bible Society (PBS) headquarters in East Jerusalem and her bookstore in Gaza City were the targets of frequent attacks, including a bombing earlier this year that severely damaged the Bible Society. The Palestinian Bible Society is a member of the United Bible Societies/USB), the worldwide roof organisation of 140 national Bible Societies.


Why does a small Christian News agency have exclusive information that there was ' a visible gunshot wound to the head' yet the AP sourced Haaretz report is headlined "Palestinian Christian activist stabbed to death in Gaza"

Seems it is unlikely you've been ' stabbed to death' when theres a visible gunshot wound to your head.

As for the Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh condemning the killing, the world waits to see Hamas reveal the perpetrator of this horrendous crime.