Anti-Christmas flyer, released by terrorist group Al-Nasser Salah al-Deen Brigades in Gaza. (photo credit:“ Courtesy)
By URI BOLLAG
Flyer features a verse from the Quran warning Muslims, „not to go the way of the Jews and the Christians, indeed God is not for the evil people.“
A flyer featuring a burning Christmas tree and threats in Arabic forbidding the celebration of Christmas was published by the Al-Nasser Salah al-Deen Brigades, also known as the Specialty Brigade, in Gaza ahead of the Christian holiday.
A verse from the Quran, quoted on the left side of the flyer, warns Muslims “not to go the way of the Jews and the Christians, indeed God is not for the evil people.” The brigades added that it is “absolutely forbidden” to celebrate the holidays in any capacity.
According to a government source, the flyer was aimed not only at Muslims, but also Arab Christians living in the Strip. The non-governmental organization Freedom House has regularly reported that the political rights and civil liberties of Gaza residents are severely constrained by multiple layers of interference.
The Al-Nasser Salah al-Deen Brigades is the military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees, a coalition of armed Palestinian groups considered a terrorist organization by Israel and the United States, and believed to be the third largest faction in Gaza after Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. The PRC is responsible for a number of terrorist attacks against Israel and has a close relationship with Hezbollah.
The flyer is in contrast to Israel’s efforts to ensure that Christians in Gaza are able to celebrate the holiday.
In a meeting with Christian leaders on December 19, Maj.-Gen. Kamil Abu Rukun, head of the Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), outlined measures the unit will be taking to allow freedom of worship, according to its website. Measures include allowing entrance into Gaza for those wishing to visit their families and permitting more flexible travel, as well as flights abroad via Ben-Gurion Airport. The measures have been in effect since the week prior to Christmas.
There are approximately 1,000 Christians living in the Gaza Strip. Some 600 individuals received special permits for the holidays, a source told The Jerusalem Post.