Bethlehem under siege again


 Israeli troops and armoured vehicles have re-occupied Bethlehem after a suicide bomber believed to be from the town killed 11 people in Jerusalem on Thursday. Soldiers have been conducting house-to-house searches all weekend. Troops surround the Dheisheh refugee camp. At the Church of the Nativity - the scene of a long siege earlier this year - armoured personnel carriers and at least one tank have blocked all the main entrances, to prevent Palestinian gunmen seeking refuge there. Salesian Father Franco Ronzani, 59, who has worked in the Holy Land for 35 years, said this new occupation seemed less threatening than the earlier one this year. He told the Missionary News Service: "Today there is no shooting, neither bomb explosions, just a few isolated shots can be heard every now and then". But, he said all the schools and colleges in Bethlehem have been closed. Fr Franco said: "Nobody comes out of their house. Every movement is forbidden, awaiting to see what will happen tomorrow".

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