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    A Palestinian shopkeeper dresses a model in a Christmas outfit in Gaza City on December 22, 2015, as Christians prepare to mark their holy day which celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ

    Palestinian Militant Group Warns Gaza Locals Not to Celebrate Christmas – Report

    © AFP 2019 / MOHAMMED ABED
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    The development comes amid heightening tensions between Israelis and Palestinians at the Gaza border, which have been mounting since late March, when the Palestinian Authority's Great March of Return began. The situation escalated last week after a gunman killed two Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank.

    An armed faction of the Popular Resistance Committees, a coalition of armed Palestinian groups, published a flyer featuring a burning Christmas tree and threats in Arabic forbidding the celebrating the holiday, according to The Jerusalem Post.

    Specifically, the flyer from the Al-Nasser Salah al-Deen Brigades features a verse from the Quran, warning Muslims "not to go the way of the Jews and the Christians" because "indeed God is not for the evil people".

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    The militant group also cautioned that it is "absolutely forbidden" to celebrate the holiday in any capacity.

    The Jerusalem Post cited a government source as saying that the flyer was aimed at both Muslims and Arab Christians living in Gaza.

    The newspaper also referred to the government's efforts to help about 1,000 Christians living in Gaza to celebrate Christmas.

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    The Al-Nasser Salah al-Deen Brigades' flyer comes amid ongoing tensions between Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza which escalated last week when a gunman killed two IDF soldiers in the occupied West Bank, prompting sweeping raids by Israeli forces.

    Tensions between the two sides have been mounting since late March, which marked the beginning of the Palestinian Authority's Great March of Return.

    The Israeli government refuses to recognise Palestine as an independent political and diplomatic entity and continues to build settlements in occupied areas, despite objections from the United Nations (UN.) 

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    Quran, celebration, holiday, government, efforts, Christmas, Gaza, Israel
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