Parliamentary question - E-006179/2011Parliamentary question

Violence against Christians in the Gaza Strip

Question for written answer E-006179/2011
to the Commission
Rule 117
Mara Bizzotto (EFD)

2 % of the population of the Gaza Strip consists of Palestinian Christians. Since the consolidation of power by Hamas, there has been repeated violence against this community. Between 2007 and 2011, there have been acts of vandalism and bomb attacks on Christian schools, homes and institutions, as well as cases of murder and, recently, attempted murder against members of the Christian community. The failure to carry out investigations or arrests following these incidents suggests that Hamas has no intention of intervening to stop this persecution of Christians. In addition, it was confirmed by a Canadian NGO towards the end of 2009 that members of Hamas have repeatedly desecrated Christian graves and exhumed the bodies, in order to ‘decontaminate’ the soil from the corpses of Christians who they believe to be unworthy of burial on Palestinian land. According to the same source, Hamas has forced members of the Christian minority to collaborate with it, intimidating them with threats of rape and reprisals against their families. Discrimination now seems to have become the rule in the West Bank as well, especially in Bethlehem, where the Muslim majority, while accepting Christian tourists, is becoming ever more hostile to Palestinian Christians.

Given that Article 2 of the association agreement with the PLO states that respect for democracy and human rights constitutes an essential component of that agreement, can the Commission specify what action it will take to ensure that this clause is respected by the Palestinian government authorities and that the violence against Christians ceases?

OJ C 128 E, 03/05/2012