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Gaza pastor gives update from war zone

RICHMOND, Va. (BP)–No Christians in Gaza have been injured despite living in hard-hit areas, a Baptist pastor there reported to Baptist Press late in the afternoon Jan. 6.

News staff at Christianity Today, meanwhile, were reporting three Christians have died since the hostilities began in Gaza Dec. 27 but Baptist Press has not yet independently confirmed the circumstances of those deaths. One death was attributed to a heart attack but no supporting information was provided about the deaths of the other two individuals named.

Lack of food, water and electricity is a major concern for the population, the Baptist pastor said.

The pastor (name withheld for security reasons) asked that Southern Baptists pray for a quick and peaceful resolution of the strife between Israeli and the Palestinian Hamas faction.

Israel tentatively welcomed a proposal Jan. 7 from Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and French President Nicolas Sarkozy calling for a Gaza cease-fire to allow aid to reach Palestinian civilians, the Associated Press reported.

The temporary cease-fire took place in the “whole of the Gaza Strip” Jan. 7, Israeli Defense Ministry spokesman Peter Lerner told CNN. The truce is scheduled to take place every other day for a three-hour time span until a permanent resolution is formed.

Israel will continue its discussions with Egypt and France about how to achieve an extended cease-fire.
Reported by the Richmond, Va., bureau of Baptist Press.

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