Jerusalem: Church of Nativity burns

Eye-witnesses report a fire in Christ’s birthplace after heavy shooting followed an attempt by the Israeli armed forces to storm the church.

These reports are made by Palestinian eye-witnesses, who claim that heavily-armed Israeli Defence Force (IDF) personnel tried to storm the building early on Thursday 2nd May and that a fire broke out in the church shortly afterwards.

These reports are strongly denied by Israeli officials. The BBC reporter in Jerusalem confirmed that a fire had broken out in the belfry of the building where Jesus Christ is said to have been born. He added that the fire was put out later but it is not clear how much damage has been done to the church.

In a similar situation two weeks ago, IDF marksmen shot at Palestinian fire-fighters who were trying to extinguish the blaze. One fire-fighter was shot dead.


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