Israeli Troops Bar Christians From Worship
Nice example of misleading headline. Israel in fact in hot pursuit of militants.
On the first Sunday since Israel reoccupied Bethlehem, troops barred Christians from worshiping at the Church of the Nativity. Soldiers in another part of the West Bank searched four mosques for suspected militants.
There were no signs that the Israelis are near an end to the operation in the biblical town, despite a call from the U.S. government for troops to leave as soon as possible.
Israeli forces rolled into Bethlehem early Friday after a Palestinian suicide bomber from Bethlehem blew himself up on a Jerusalem bus a day before, killing eleven passengers.
The army has been conducting house-to-house searches for militants. Officials say soldiers arrested a local Islamic Jihad leader today. Since Friday, more than 30 Palestinians have been detained, including three men believed to be connected to suicide bombing operations.
Meanwhile, Palestinian sources say Israeli soldiers have been searching through holy mosques in the West Bank for a suspected militant.
Troops are looking for a fugitive residents say is connected to either Hamas or Islamic Jihad. The soldiers took the man's father to the scene and had him call for his son's surrender.
When he failed to emerge, troops blew down two large mosque doors and entered the holy site. They searched every corner and threw tear gas canisters into a well. They didn't find their man.
At least seven Palestinians have been arrested in the town of Tubas since Israeli forces began the operation three days ago.
Also, in Lebanon, what appears to be a power struggle between Palestinian factions has resulted in a bombing. A small bomb exploded Sunday outside the home of a Palestinian official with Yasser Arafat's mainstream Fatah group