December 21, 2011
Israel easing restrictions on Palestinians for holiday
The Israeli army has eased travel and other restrictions on Palestinian Christians for the holiday season.
The Israel Defense Forces, in conjunction with the coordinator of government activities in the territories, announced the easing of restrictions on traveling outside the West Bank and Gaza Strip into Israel through Jan. 20. The move comes following an IDF meeting Tuesday with religious leaders from Bethlehem.
The IDF authorized 500 Christian Palestinians from Gaza to visit Israel and the West Bank to see family and participate in religious services. Christian Palestinians from the West Bank also will be permitted to visit Israel during the holiday season.
Some 400 Christian Palestinians will be permitted to leave Israel for travel abroad via Ben Gurion Airport, and 200 Christians from Arab countries can visit the West Bank.