• December 24, 2007
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    Hamas PM promises to bring killers of Christian martyr to Justice
Hamas PM promises to bring killers of Christian martyr to Justice Haniya’s letter was a response to a letter Mansour and Khouri wrote him in mid October expressing their shock of the assassination of Rami Ayyad on the 7th of October just because of his Christian faith and work with a Christian organization (The Bible society). Mansour (who is also the general director of Nazareth Baptist school) and Khouri mentioned that this unprecedented killing on religious basis is strange from the ethics and tolerance of the Arab Palestinian people that lived in tolerance and brotherhood for generations. Furthermore, Mansour and Khouri mention that they are part of an International lawyers and judges organization called “advocates International” that deals with issues of religious freedom and conscious and that they have received numerous letters from lawyers from all around the world including from Samuel Casey ,president of the Christian legal society in USA-asking to approach Palestinian leaders so they you put their full political weight in order that the murderers be arrested, their armed groups dismantled and that measures be taken in order that the Christian minority in Gaza be able to live in liberty and honor. They concluded that coexistence between Muslims and Christians should be strengthened and that no place should be given to sons of stray to demolish what generations have built.

Mr. Haniya opened his letter of response saying that the Palestinian government sends its greetings to the 2 lawyers for their interest in matters of worship and conscious freedoms in the world. He continued to say that the Palestinian government has emphasized continuously that the Palestinian people in all of Islamic and Christian elements is proud of the long history of brotherhood, co-existence and unity of destiny. Haniya continued to say that the whole Palestinian people was shocked greatly when the news erupted of the murder and in that ugly method. He added that from the beginning he asked the relevant parties in the ministry of interior to work seriously to follow up the case and find the murderers and to bring them to justice. He continued to say that “there are people who do not want good to the Palestinian people and act to damage the bright civilized image of the Palestinian people while exploiting some sporadic incidents to Investigate against our government and movement”. Therefore he concluded that all should work to block campaigns that aim against the unity of the Palestinian people. He also mentioned that his government is taking every effort to chase any ideas or behavior that might effect negatively on the glueyness of the social fabrication but to encourage all activities that emphasize the unity of our people and especially toward the Christian family with all its denominations.

In a respond to this letter advocates Botrus Mansour and Shadi khouri wrote Mr. Haniya again on the 23rd of December thanking him for his letter and his commitment to the Christian minorities’ rights as well as his eagerness to capture the assassinators. However the advocates inform Haniya of the rumors and news (including a rival Palestinian web site news item ) that a person called Ashraf Abu Layli from “Elkasam” brigades (affiliated with Hamas –Haniya’s party) was arrested and investigated with and that he admitted the crime, however he was released without further action and the case was closed. The Arab Evangelical lawyers demand that Haniya who has security control in Gaza strip is capable of taking action to bring the suspected before a fair trial –an action that will bring a sense of security .

It is worthwhile to note that the original letters were sent to both the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and his rival (Dominate in Gaza now) Ismail Haniya, but only the latter responded.