Palestine, Israel agree to lift blockade of Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity

On the night of May 6, delegations from Israel and Palestine reached an agreement in principle to lift the blockade of Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity, reported Palestinian sources. According to Bethlehem Governor Mohammed al-Madani, the sides are now busy working out a detailed agreement. Some Palestinian sources assert that the final version of the agreement was "elaborated jointly by Vatican and European Union representatives" and that the USA had nothing to do with it. Radio reports from Israel said 5 or 6 of the Palestinian militant leaders besieged in the ancient Christian temple would be deported to a European country, most likely to Italy, and 30 more would be convoyed to Gaza. The remaining 86 or 87 Palestinians would be released.

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