Christians in the Palestinian territories are being "watched," a spokesman for the Palestinian Authority admitted to WND.
"We have been watching this Christian organization and for the moment there is nothing special in their activity," said Adnan Dmeire, spokesman for the PA's security organizations in West Bank.
Dmeire was referring to the Association of the Holy Book, one of the main groups that attends to the needs of Christians in the Palestinian territories. The group has been accused by both the PA and Hamas of carrying out missionary activities. A Bible store the association sponsored in the Gaza Strip – the only Christian bookstore in the territory – was attacked by Islamists several times. The store's owner, Rami Ayyad, was found shot to death in 2007, his body riddled with bullets.
Dmeire was responding to a WND inquiry regarding a Hamas accusation earlier this week that the PA was allowing the Christian association to carry out missionary activity in the West Bank.
Christian persecution trend
Christians living in the Palestinian territories have not faired well under PA or Hamas rule.
In 2006, a YMCA in the northern West Bank was attacked. Gunmen destroyed the locks on the YMCA's entrance gates, crushed the gates, then entered the building and set it ablaze. Local fire brigades reportedly rushed to the scene and stopped the blaze before it spread to neighboring buildings. The attack occurred just after a PA-linked preacher accused the YMCA of missionary activity.
Following the YMCA attack, one Christian leader, an aide to Jerusalem's Latin Patriarch Michel Sabah who asked his name be withheld for fear of Muslim retaliation, called the rampage part of a general trend of Christian persecution in Palestinian areas.
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