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Thursday, December 20, 2012
Official: Israel lets 557 Gaza Christians visit West Bank for holidays

Official: Israel lets 557 Christians out of Gaza for holidays
Published yesterday (updated) 20/12/2012 22:35
http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=549867

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- Israel will allow 557 Christians from the Gaza Strip to
leave to the West Bank to participate in holiday celebrations, Palestinian
officials and the Israeli army said.

A Palestinian official told Ma'an that the Israeli side delivered 557
permits to Christians seeking to temporarily leave Gaza to join religious
celebrations in the occupied West Bank.

They will be allowed to leave Gaza from Dec. 24 until Jan. 8. The time
period covers the two main Christmas observances for Catholic and Orthodox,
on Dec. 25 and Jan. 7.

Many Christians were not eligible to apply for the permits which are subject
to age restrictions. They are only given to Palestinians under 16 years old
and older than 35.

An Israeli army statement confirmed "500 visitor permits for Christian
Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to Israel and the Judea and Samaria Region
in order to visit their families and participate in religious ceremonies."

In 2011 Israeli authorities gave 550 Christians from Gaza permits for the
holidays.

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