Hamas Imposes Islamization on Schools in Gaza

Gaza: Hamas imposes Islamisation on schools, endangering Catholic institutions

ICC Note:

Three Catholic schools in the Gaza Strip are at risk of shutting their doors. “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.” These new laws will take effect in September, and are leaving the leaders of Catholic schools unsure of what to do; do they allow the Hamas Islamists to dictate what they can do in their schools or shut their doors?

06/18/2013 Palestine (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.”

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