Readers may recall that last year’s BBC Christmas programming included a report by Mishal Husain which was aired on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme on Christmas Eve.
“This time last week we were reporting from Gaza and for its small Christian community this of course is the time of year when many dream of getting to Bethlehem which isn’t, after all, that far away to celebrate Christmas. However, given the blockade maintained by Israel – it says of course that’s for security reasons – travelling to the West Bank requires special permission which many do not get. Mishal Husain went to meet Palestinian Christians at one church in Gaza City.”
As was noted here at the time, Husain was conspicuously silent on the topic of how many Christians actually currently live in the Gaza Strip and her report was obviously intended to promote the politically motivated narrative that Gaza’s Christian population lives happily under Hamas rule, with its only tribulations caused by Israel.
Last week Israel’s Channel 12 aired an interview (in Hebrew and Arabic) by Arab affairs correspondent Ohad Hemo with a Christian who escaped the Gaza Strip four months ago.
“Since Hamas came to power in the Gaza Strip the Christians living there have become scapegoats and the targets of that organisation as well as Salafist extremists. Due to their difficult situation most have fled and from a community of 4,200 people, now only a few hundred remain. Kamal Tarazi was there until recently. Four months ago he managed to escape: “Hamas people took over my home and turned it into a command post”, he recounts. […]
‘They put me in a number of prisons and Hamas’ prison is all just beatings and psychological torture’ he recalls. According to him the harming of the Christians in Gaza has become routine and does not stop even during times of conflict. […]
‘They harass and harm the Christian public and Christian institutions, churches and charities’.”
The calibre of Mishal Husain’s reporting on the topic of challenges faced by the Christian community in the Gaza Strip is again all too apparent.