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>Israel News Faxx
Ddec. 25, 2014, Vol 22, No 251
Breaking News: Israel is Secretly Killing Millions....
By Israel Faxx News Services
Please view http://youtu.be/3r8B6C6YiGE
In Bethlehem, Christmas Eve Scuffle Caps a Tense Year
By VOA News
Christmas Eve in Bethlehem began less than peacefully Wednesday when a shoving match
broke out between a marching band and police during holiday celebrations. Video of the
scuffle shows security forces with batons raised as the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem,
Fouad Twal, was quickly ushered away from a crowd packing the streets near the Church of
the Nativity, said to be built over the birthplace of Jesus. Palestinian police had
increased their presence to 500 officers around the city about 10 kilometers south of
Jerusalem in anticipation of thousands of Christian pilgrims for the holiday.
Rula Ma'ayah, Palestinian Minister of Tourism, said, "We are expecting until the end of
this month to have receive around 100,000 visitors coming to Bethlehem from all over the
world." Ahead of the Christmas Eve services in Bethlehem, Patriarch Twal, who oversees the
Holy Land's Roman Catholic churches, asked for a more tranquil year ahead.
"I hope next time we will get rid of all these walls, and build bridges and shake hands
with peace. Peace will only come with justice, we have a just case and it should be
resolved," he said. "We hope that 2015 will be more merciful than 2014, which was hard
A day earlier, Palestinian demonstrators in Santa Claus suits clashed with Israeli
security forces as they marched toward a checkpoint connecting Bethlehem to Jerusalem.
"Today we want to show that we are preparing ourselves to show the whole world the
aggression of the Israeli army and the Israeli government, how they are besieging
Bethlehem and controlling everything in Bethlehem. And they don't want the Palestinians to
be happy, even at Christmas," said Munther Amira, Bethlehem demonstrator.
Violence between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police heightened tensions in
Jerusalem and the West Bank in recent months, on the heels of a violent 50-day war in Gaza
between Hamas and Israel that killed more than 2,000 people. Sporadic violence has broken
out along the Gaza border since an August cease-fire ended the conflict. On Wednesday,
Israeli forces killed a Hamas fighter after the army said it came under Palestinian sniper
fire that injured a soldier near the Gaza Strip.
Thousands of Young Jews Arrive in Israel for Winter Birthright Trip
Thousands of young Jews from the U.S. and around the world landed in Israel on Tuesday
as part of the Taglit-Birthright Israel program's winter season.
The 20 groups that landed on Tuesday, with 50 more Birthright groups to arrive later in
the week, will tour Israel for 10 days and visit some of Israel's most important sites:
The Dead Sea, Masada, the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum among others.
"We will continue bringing tourists to Israel, even when the tourism industry is in
decline," Birthright CEO Gidi Mark said. "The organization's activity strengthens Israel's
tourism branch and represents 5% of the group tours in Israel."
Israel Halts Production of Gas Masks
By 124 News
Decision was dictated by the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons stockpile, huge cost
Israel's Security Cabinet on Sunday decided that gas masks aimed to provide protection
from chemical weapons will no longer be produced.
The decision was dictated by the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons stockpile by
Israel saw a rush on gas masks last year, when tensions between the Bashar Assad regime in
Syria and the West seemed on the point of boiling over into armed conflict, with the US
threatening to carry out airstrikes.
In August 2013, gas mask distribution centers received triple the number of phone calls
than on an average day from people wishing obtain protection kits and more than twice as
many people than average approached the distribution points directly.
The demand has since been in sharp decline, and early in 2013 the Security Cabinet decided
to halt the distribution of gas masks to the public.
"It is a well-reasoned decision that was made responsibly while taking into account the
change in Mideast security threats and Israel's defense capabilities," Defense Minister
Moshe Ya'alon said following a meeting of the Security Cabinet in Jerusalem.
According to Haaretz, the high costs of production and distribution of masks contributed
to the decision as it is estimated that completing the project of handing out the masks
would have cost over one billion shekels.
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