Five Gaza Christian schools face closure after Hamas ruling

( Five Christian schools in Gaza are facing closure if Hamas, the Palestinian terror group that controls the Gaza Strip, follows through on a new law forbidding co-educational institutions.

“This will be a big problem. We hope they will not go through with it, but if they do, we will be in big trouble. We don’t have the space and we don’t have the money to divide our schools,” Father Faysal Hijazin, director-general of Latin Patriarchate Schools in the Palestinian territories and Israel, told the U.K.’s Catholic Herald.

The Gaza Strip has a small Christian community, numbering around 3,000 people. Most of the students in the five Christian schools are Muslim, but the schools are the only ones with mixed enrollment in Gaza. Under Hamas’s new law, male and female teachers would not be permitted to teacher classes of the opposite sex after the age of 10.

“It is a concern that in education things are getting more conservative,” Father Hijazin said. “It reflects the whole society. This is of concern to both Christians and moderate Muslims. It is not easy to be there.”

Posted on June 7, 2013 .