Chaos of Gaza war forces Christians to bury dead in Muslim cemeteries

Wednesday, Apr 10, 2024

GAZA: Too frightened to travel on dangerous roads that lead to their graveyards in Gaza, Palestinian Christians are lowering their loved ones into the ground in Muslim cemeteries amid the chaos of war between Israel and Hamas.

“I’ve been working at this cemetery for almost 10 years and this is the first time in my life,” said Ihsan al-Natour, a worker at the Tal al-Sultan cemetery, where a man picked up a shrouded body and placed it inside a grave as a small child watched.

“Never have I seen a Christian being buried in a Muslim grave, but because of this war, we had no choice but to bury him here.”

Since the war broke out six months ago, Israel bombardments have killed more than 33,000 Palestinians, mostly civilians, according to figures from the Gaza health ministry. Some people have lost entire families.

Much of the coastal enclave has been turned into a wasteland, with buildings reduced to rubble and dust. Badly damaged hospitals cannot cope with the casualties, while hunger and possible famine add to the misery.