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Palestinian Christians Celebrate Christmas In Bethlehem

ImageIsrael on Thursday granted permission to several hundred Palestinians to leave the isolated Hamas-run Gaza strip to celebrate Christmas in the West Bank town of Bethlehem.  The Israeli military gave 300 people over the age of 35 24 hour, allowing them to travel to Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity for the midnight mass, celebrating Jesus’ birth. 

Many Gaza Christians decided to stay in Gaza this year because they could not get permits for younger family members. Some people were not given permits even though they have reached the required age.  Hana Mikhael, 38, said “I did not get a permit even though I am over 35, and many of my friends decided not to travel because even though they got permits their wives did not, or visa versa.”

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