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Grenade explodes at Gaza church, no casualties

Police in the Hamas-ruled enclave were investigating the incident

Published: Updated:

A hand grenade exploded in the courtyard of a Roman Catholic church in Gaza City overnight without causing any casualties or damage, a parish official said Thursday.

“In the middle of the night, unknown assailants threw a hand grenade at the church. It landed in the courtyard and exploded but caused no damage or casualties,” the source said, requesting anonymity.

“We won't let this juvenile and irresponsible act affect us and will carry on our work as normal,” he added, without saying who might have been responsible.

Police in the Hamas-ruled enclave were investigating the incident, which took place in the city's southern Zeitun neighborhood.

A Gaza-based rights group, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, condemned the act and called for a “serious investigation into this crime.”

According to the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, there are only some 1,550 Christians among the 1.5 million, predominantly Muslim, people living in the Gaza Strip.

The enclave has seen several attacks against Christian targets in the past few years.

In 2011, a bomb targeted the director of Gaza's Anglican hospital, who escaped unharmed.

A library belonging to the Baptist church was damaged in a bomb attack in 2007, the year the Islamist Hamas seized control of Gaza after fighting with rivals Fatah.