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Israel Allows Only 55 Gazan Christians to Visit Jerusalem for Christmas

Israel Allows Only 55 Gazan Christians to Visit Jerusalem for Christmas

Tuesday, 24 December, 2019 - 09:45
People stand at Manger Square in Bethlehem in the Israeli-occupied West Bank December 17, 2019. (Reuters)

Israeli authorities have allowed only a few dozen Gazan Christians to visit Jerusalem in the West Bank for Christmas.


Kamel Ayyad, the director of public relations for the Orthodox Church in Gaza, told dpa that out of 600 requests, only 55 were approved by Israel and granted permits to enter the West Bank and Jerusalem.


The wait is ongoing for approval of the remaining requests to allow the greatest number of Christians to celebrate Christmas in the West Bank, he added.


Three minors were granted entry, as well as 47 elderly people.


Some 1,000 Christians reside in Gaza.


Gaza has been under a tight blockade imposed by Israel after the Hamas movement took control of the territory in 2007.


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