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Monday, December 24, 2007

Fatah's war against Bethlehem pilgrims, 1967

An interesting tidbit in a Time magazine article about Israel and the "occupation" in December 1967:
...Incidents of terrorism still occur. Arab "commandos" last month infiltrated close enough to Tel Aviv to lob nine mortar shells into the suburb of Petah Tiqva, and two weeks ago another guerrilla band shot it out with police near the city's international airport. Terrorists also blew up the water reservoir of a kibbutz in Upper Galilee, almost succeeded in cutting the rail line to Jerusalem and derailed a passenger train in the Negev.

A warning by the Arab guerrilla organization El Fatah that Christmas tourists would not be safe in the Holy Land led the Israeli government to station 950 security police in Jerusalem and Bethlehem and to set up roadblocks in the area.

Such incidents are, however, minor exceptions to an otherwise peaceful coexistence between the two peoples. Jews now frequent Arab restaurants in East Jerusalem, and Arab patients are freely admitted to the $30 million Hadassah Medical Center in West Jerusalem. The Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem were scheduled with little change in the traditions established while the town was under Arab rule. As many as 40,000 Jewish pilgrims a day travel to Hebron to visit the Tomb of the Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob), which for 700 years has been an Arab mosque. Jewish tourists literally swarm over the Golan Heights every weekend. On 9,211-ft. Mount Hermon, in what used to be Syria, a group of enterprising kibbutzniks plans to open a ski resort that might just be called the Shalom Slalom.

For years, the PLO has pretended to be friends with the Christians in Bethlehem, even as they encouraged Muslims to take over than once-majority Christian town. Yasir Arafat routinely attended Christmas celebrations there.

How many of the Christian supporters of Fatah and the other terror groups know that Christians were directly threatened by them in '67?