A delegation from the Hamas Movement on Tuesday visited the Church of Saint Porphyrius in the Gaza Strip and met with its officials.
Gaza's Greek Orthodox Archbishop Alexios and Issa Tarazi, head of the Near East Council of Churches committee for refugee work in Gaza, received the delegation, which included senior Hamas officials Basem Na’im, Maher al-Houli and Fawzi Barhoum.
According to Basem Na’im, the visit came within the framework of promoting good relations and values of love, friendship and coexistence among all citizens.
In press remarks during the meeting, Na’im affirmed his Movement’s keenness on strengthening ties with the Palestinian people from all spectra and sects.
He stressed that the Palestinian people, Muslims or Christians, would remain steadfast on their land defending their right to live with dignity and freedom.
For his part, Archbishop Alexios expressed his appreciation to the Hamas officials for their visit, describing Gaza as “an example of coexistence and national partnership between Muslims and Christians.”
“We do not feel that we are targeted at all as Christians; on the contrary, we find all the love, appreciation and respect from the Hamas Movement and great care from its leadership as well as every cooperation and concern from all government authorities regarding any difficulties or challenges we could face,” the Archbishop said.
“The Christians are part of this Palestinian people and we will continue to work on strengthening and developing this relationship to ensure preservation of this great legacy, which has been established by the generations over the past hundreds of years, and we will never allow anyone to spoil this relationship or poison the good atmosphere between us,” he added.