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Couple threatens to commit suicide in Nativity Church

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  • ummyakoub
    Israeli man and his wife threaten to commit suicide in Nativity Church By Amos Harel and Arnon Regular, Haaretz Correspondents and AP March 15, 2003
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 18, 2003
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      Israeli man and his wife threaten to commit suicide in Nativity Church

      By Amos Harel and Arnon Regular, Haaretz Correspondents and AP

      March 15, 2003

      http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/273145.html

      An Israeli man and his wife, who had entered the Church of the
      Nativity in Bethlehem on Saturday and threatened to commit suicide,
      handed themselves over to church priests. The man had entered the
      church earlier in the day, claiming to be armed with a gun, and
      threatened to commit suicide. No worshippers were at the church at the
      time.

      The Israeli man, named by Army Radio as Haim Habiba, was at the site
      with his wife, who he claimed was wearing an explosives belt. After he
      handed himself over to the priests, it appeared that the gun that he
      was holding was plastic, and his wife's explosives belt was apparently
      made of Purim firecrackers.

      Palestinian police officers conducting negotiations with the couple
      before they gave themselves up to the priests.

      Father Barnodos, a priest at the church, said earlier that the couple
      was threatening to blow themselves up. He said that the man was
      holding a rifle and that his wife appeared to be wearing an explosives
      belt.

      Bethlehem Mayor Hanna Nasser said after rushing inside the church to
      try to defuse the situation that the man had only a plastic weapon.
      "It's not serious," Nasser told Reuters after exiting.

      Last year, the same individual entered the Muqata in Ramallah, and
      threatened to commit suicide as an act of protest against the fact
      that Israel will not grant his wife citizenship. Habiba apparently
      entered the Church of the Nativity to protest the fact that his wife,
      who is not Jewish, has still not been granted citizenship and that his
      children do not live with him.

      A large number of Palestinian policemen, the head of the local police
      force, and senior members of the Palestinian Authority were at the
      Church of the Nativity.


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