Israel prevents hundreds of Gaza's Christians from Bethlehem Christmas pilgrimage despite lifting ban | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Israel prevents hundreds of Gaza's Christians from Bethlehem Christmas pilgrimage despite lifting ban

Christians from around the world have arrived in the West Bank town of Bethlehem ahead of Christmas day, while hundreds of Palestinian Christians from Gaza have been blocked by Israel from undertaking the pilgrimage.

Over 3.5 million tourists visit the city during this time, queuing to visit the grotto inside Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity, believed to be the exact site where Jesus was born.

Palestinian tourism minister Rula Maaya told AFP it had been a good year, but fewer Christians from the Gaza Strip were in attendance than in previous years.

Wadie Abunassar, an advisor to and spokesman for church leaders in the Holy Land, said out of the 951 applications from Gazans so far, only 192 had been granted.

This comes after Israel announced on Sunday that it will allow Christians in the Gaza Strip to travel to Jerusalem and the West Bank for Christmas, reversing an April decision to ban them from leaving the besieged Palestinian enclave.

The Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza are separated by Israeli territory and crossing between them requires hard-to-get permits.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Oh, sure, all Gazan Christians can come to Jerusalem and the West Bank for Christmas; all they have to do is get the proper permits, which we will make almost damn near impossible!!!" Official Tel Aviv Souse.

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