Saturday, May 8, 2010

PRESS RELEASE: Palestinian Christian Found Dead in Gaza

The body of a Christian bookshop manager kidnapped over the weekend was found Sunday morning.

MIDDLE EAST, October 8, 2007 (Middle East Concern) - The Palestinian Bible Society (PBS) announced on Sunday that Rami Ayyad, 30, had been found dead near the Bible Society Bookshop in Gaza early that morning. Mr. Ayyad was kidnapped on Saturday, October 6th by an unknown group after he closed the doors of the bookshop at around 16:30.

His body was found at 6:25 on Sunday, October 7th with signs of bullets and knife stabs.

Mr. Ayyad, the director of the Teachers’ Bookshop which is run by the PBS, had noted that a vehicle with no plate numbers had been following him on Friday. Shortly after his kidnap his family received a telephone call from him saying that he had been taken by a group of people and that he would return home late that evening. The Police in Gaza were informed of the incident.

Mr. Ayyad leaves behind two young children: George (2) and Wisam (9 months). His wife, Paulina, is pregnant. The funeral took place with a police escort on Sunday at 16:00. No group or party has claimed responsibility as of yet.

Ayyad and the other staff at the bookshop had received threats two months ago from radical Muslims who accused them of conducting missionary activities and the bookshop and the Palestinian Bible Society had been the target of repeated attacks over the past two years. The last attack took place in April.

This attack has shaken the Christian community in Gaza and several sources who spoke to Middle East Concern mentioned a great fear and apprehensiveness among the community.

HT: Middle East Concern