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Official: Israeli commanders not welcome to visit Bethlehem
Published Sunday 29/12/2013 (updated) 31/12/2013 12:35
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(MaanImages/File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The governor of the Bethlehem district said Sunday that Israeli military commanders were not welcome to visit the area, after he received a request for military officials to visit Bethlehem while off duty.

Abd al-Fattah Hamayil said in a statement that "the chief of the occupation army's central command" along with other military officials requested to visit Bethlehem in plain clothes, without providing further details.

The officials are unwelcome, Hamayil said, because of the "occupation's ongoing atrocities" against the city.

He cited the Israeli army's raid of central Bethlehem on Thursday as an example, saying Israeli soldiers "savagely destroyed dozens of stores in the city."

"If the Israeli occupation's leaders and commanders want to visit Bethlehem, they have to enter the city in military tanks and armored vehicles."

An Israeli army spokeswoman did not return calls seeking comment.

Bethlehem is located in Area A, the less than 20 percent of the West Bank that is under Palestinian civil and military control according to the Oslo Accords.

The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.
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1 ) Outlier / USA
30/12/2013 21:08
Quid pro quo - no West Bank visitors to Jerusalem. Sounds fair.

2 ) Colin Wright / USA
31/12/2013 00:25
It'll be mildly interesting to hear if they visit anyway. Will they feel obliged to respect even the fragment of Palestinian authority they have permitted, or will they prove incapable of resisting the urge to rub Palestinian powerlessness into the faces of their victims? I'll go with the latter. These ARE Zionists we're talking about.

3 ) josh / usa
31/12/2013 03:28
So if these officials can bar israelis from the area, israel can bar anyone they choose from their areas as well.

4 ) Colin Wright / USA
03/01/2014 00:53
To josh #3: 'So if these officials can bar israelis from the area, israel can bar anyone they choose from their areas as well.' Assuming by 'their areas' you're referring to those lands allotted to Israel under the 1947 UN Partition Declaration, you'd be entirely correct -- except of course for the Palestinian population already present. Israel undertook to respect their property rights.
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