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Ddec. 25, 2014, Vol 22, No 251

Breaking News: Israel is Secretly Killing Millions....

By Israel Faxx News Services

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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 year."

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 of production 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 international experts. 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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