Another Christian/Western Target Attacked in Gaza
At least ten armed men blew up a YMCA library in the Gaza Strip, destroying thousands of books early Friday. This appears to be the latest attack by Muslim fundamentalists against either Christian or Western targets.
An estimated 10,000 books, some of them very old, were destroyed when an explosive device was placed in the Young Men Christian Association's library in Gaza City before dawn on Friday, said Isa Saba, director of the YMCA there.
The Palestinian news agency Maan said that more than 10 armed men had broken into the library after midnight, overpowered the guards and abducted them. The gunmen then returned to blow up the library, the report said.
Over the last few years, a number of Christian and Western interest have been attacked in Gaza, including the local Bible Society, a church and Internet cafes.
Saba told Cybercast News Service in a telephone interview he did not know who was behind the attack but he did not believe it had anything to do with the fact that the YMCA is Christian. He said the organization has never been threatened or attacked before this.
The YMCA has been serving Gaza's Palestinian and Arab society for 55 years. It has an art school, a library, summer camps and youth exchanges, which benefit both the Christian and Muslim communities, Saba said.
There are an estimated 3, 500 Christians living amid 1.4 million Muslims in the Gaza Strip.