Syrian Orthodox Church Under Siege in Bethlehem
- Al-Jazeerah TV reported this morning that the Church of Nativity (birthplace of Christ), the Syrian Orthodox Church, and the Church of Santa Maria (I think this is the Melkite -- Rum Catholic -- Church) are under siege in Bethlehem by Israeli forces. The Churches have become a haven for wounded Palestinian civilians and gunmen. Patriarch Al-Sabbah of the Roman Catholic Church said that all gunmen gave up their weapons upon entering Churches. Israel claims that gun men are firing weapons from within the Church of Nativity. Church authorities deny this.The Syrian Orthodox Church is less than 1/4 mile from the Church of Nativity. It is surrounded by a complex of houses owned by the church and inhabited by faithful from that church who are also under siege. The Syrian Orthodox Church in Bethlehem numbers about 300 families most of whom live within a walking distance from the Church.George Kiraz--------------------------
George A. Kiraz, M.St. (Oxon), M.Phil., Ph.D. (Cantab)
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