Hundreds of Palestinian Christians to get Christmas travel permits
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Hundreds of Palestinian Christians to get Christmas travel permits

Around 800 Gazans to receive entry to West Bank over holidays after ‘security assessment’ by IDF officials

File: A clergyman holds a crucifix in Manger Square outside the Church of the Nativity during Christmas celebrations last year. (AFP PHOTO/AHMAD GHARABLI)
File: A clergyman holds a crucifix in Manger Square outside the Church of the Nativity during Christmas celebrations last year. (AFP PHOTO/AHMAD GHARABLI)

Measures are being put in place to ease movement restrictions for hundreds of Christian Arabs over Christmas, the Defense Ministry’s civil authority in the West Bank announced Monday.

COGAT — the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories — said on its Facebook page that some 400 Christians will be permitted to fly out of the country via Ben Gurion International Airport for the holidays, while 400 visitors from other Arab countries will be allowed to visit immediate family in the West Bank.

Another 500 Palestinians from the West Bank will be allowed to enter Gaza to visit family, while 800 Gazans will be given permits to visit Jerusalem and the West Bank and a further 50 will get the green light to go to Jordan via the Allenby Bridge crossing.

An unspecified number of West Bank Palestinians will be permitted to enter Egypt through the Taba border crossing.

The arrangements were agreed by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot and the head of COGAT “in light of the security assessment of the Central and Southern Commands,” the announcement said.

The head of COGAT will meet this week with church leaders in Jerusalem.

 

 

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