• Bethlehem is only several hundred meters from southern Jerusalem. On December
    21, 1995, Israel officially handed Bethlehem over to Palestinian rule.
  • Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin rejected the request of the city’s Christian mayor,
    Elias Freij, who urged him to refrain from handing over the city to the Palestinian
    Authority because he was concerned about the fate of the Christians in
    Bethlehem. Today, Christians comprise only 20% of the city’s population.
  • Israeli security forces have entered Bethlehem repeatedly since September 2000.
    Before the IDF and Israel Security Agency (ISA) entered Bethlehem, Jerusalem was
    struck by waves of terror emanating from the Palestinian-controlled city that killed
    and wounded hundreds of Israelis.

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