After war, Christians in Gaza express fear of emboldened Hamas

JERUSALEM (CNS) — Christians and moderate Muslims quietly expressed concern about what their place in the Gaza Strip would be now that Hamas remains strong after a three-week Israeli offensive. Several businessmen who spoke to Catholic News Service questioned the outcome of the war, which began with Israeli bombardments Dec. 27 and ended with separate unilateral cease-fires — declared by Israel Jan. 18 and Hamas Jan. 19. “Hamas is still in government and there are guns everywhere,” one businessman noted, hinting that Israel’s offensive to destroy Hamas’ power base was a failure. Hamas, an Islamic fundamentalist militia and political party that states as its goals the destruction of the Jewish state of Israel and the creation of an Islamic state in all of historical Palestine, remains armed. News reports said Israel failed to destroy the Hamas network of underground tunnels into Egypt.

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