Middle East State Of Siege

Israel escalates its crackdown

Through the week, tension mounted in Bethlehem. The colored lights strung near Manger Square were brazenly destroyed. After receiving several threatening phone calls, Mayor Elias Freij, a Palestinian Christian, canceled his annual cocktail party for Israeli and Arab notables. Angry slogans appeared on walls. One read, JESUS CHRIST, HOW CAN WE BE EXPECTED TO CELEBRATE YOUR BIRTHDAY WHEN THE SOUL OF OUR HOMELAND IS RINSED WITH THE BLOOD OF OUR MARTYRS? Nervous soldiers in riot gear stood guard as tourists filed into the Church of the Nativity, built in the 6th century on the spot where Christ is believed to have...

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