By Alison Weir
While millions of Americans have been celebrating Christmas and singing about Bethlehem, Israeli forces have been attacking men, women, and children in the Bethlehem region, where shepherds are said to have received a profoundly wondrous message: “Peace on earth, goodwill to men…”
In the last few days:
- Israeli forces have invaded al-Khader town, southwest of Bethlehem, abducted people, and attacked school children;
- invaded the town of Teqoua’, east of Bethlehem, especially around the local schools, and fired gas bombs, concussion grenades, and rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinians who protested the invasions;
- attacked and abducted shepherds; invaded the Deheishe refugee camp, south of Bethlehem, abducted two young men from their homes, and took them to the nearby Etzion military base – the invasion led to protests before Israeli sharpshooters occupied the rooftop of Ebda’ Cultural Center and shot a young man with live rounds in both of his legs;
- invaded Aida refugee camp, north of Bethlehem, leading to protests, before shooting a young man with a rubber-coated steel bullet in the head;
- confiscated privately-owned Palestinian lands in the al-Khader town, south of Bethlehem;
- demolished a home in the central occupied West Bank town of Nahalin, west of Bethlehem;
This is in addition to a multitude of attacks in other areas of the West Bank and in Gaza, where Palestinians have been shot, killed, and assaulted.
Defense for Children International – Palestine reported: “In 2021, Israeli authorities, forces, and settlers targeted Palestinian children with military assaults, excessive force, arbitrary military detention, expulsions and home demolitions with impunity.”
According to DCI: “Israeli forces targeted Palestinian children with excessive force making 2021 the deadliest year for Palestinian children since 2014.”
In addition, DCI reported, “Israeli settlers emboldened by the state attacked Palestinian children and continued seizing Palestinian land and property.”
Despite these facts, U.S. politicians from both parties consistently vote to give Israel over $10 million per day, and to expend an additional $9-10 million per day on items because they benefit Israel, thanks to the influence of the pro-Israel lobby.
Some previous reports concerning Bethlehem:
In yet another land grab, Israel has approved the annexation of prime Palestinian land near Bethlehem. Palestinians have no say in the matter.
Millions of travelers to Bethlehem believe the hasbara: Jews Good, Palestinians Bad; Jews victims, Palestinians perpetrators; because of the Holocaust, the world owes us, and must condone what we’re doing to Palestinians; those who criticize our racist policies are outright anti-Semites; we are God’s Chosen, therefore we can do no wrong.
For the 11th year, Gaza’s Christian minority celebrates Christmas under Israeli siege, unable to join family in West Bank. Travel requests are mostly denied or ignored from an occupying country that claims to promote freedom of religion and worship.
Bethlehem is in the occupied Palestinian territories, not Israel, but Israel controls much of the tourism, keeping tourists from staying at Palestinian hotels, shopping in Palestinian souvenir shops, and – most importantly – hearing the Palestinian narrative.
Israel used live fire as a first resort when a Palestinian male nurse lost control of his car near a checkpoint, mildly injuring 3 IDF soldiers.
On Sunday Israelis shot, injured Palestinians in Gaza, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Jericho, abducted others, etc.
Israeli soldiers shot six Palestinians in Gaza, a Palestinian teen in Jericho after the army invaded it accompanying groups of illegal settlers, abducted at dawn six Palestinians in Hebron, Bethlehem and Jenin… Israeli authorities seized large containers of children’s clothing on their way to the besieged Gaza Strip… (See video of Israeli soldiers shooting unarmed demonstrator in Palestinian village of Madama in April)
The Palestinian Health Ministry confirmed that Israeli soldiers killed, Friday, two Palestinians, including one medic, and injured 307 others, including 85 who were shot with live fire… Israeli forces also rampaged, as usual, throughout the West Bank
1 Palestinian teen was killed during an overnight raid on Dehaisha refugee camp; another died of wounds sustained during unarmed protests at the Gaza-Israel border.
The Wall and Settlement Resistance Committee in the PA, activists, and parents, rebuilt the Jeb Al-Theeb School east of Bethlehem, which was demolished by the Israeli occupation on August 23rd.
British street artist Banksy’s new project spotlights the Israeli wall that cuts off Bethlehem and divides the Palestinian West Bank.
For reports on Israel’s treatment of Christians and the Christian connection to this issue see these.
Photos from past news reports