The Palestinian authority has ordered to strengthen security measures at the facilities visited by Christian pilgrims for fear of terrorist attacks, which can make the militants associated with the Islamic state, according to the state radio station «Sieves Beth» with reference to Palestinian sources.
— Christmas eve at the birthplace of Jesus Christ. Photo
On the eve of Christmas in Bethlehem (Bethlehem) security forces of the PNA were arrested 16 radical Salafists suspected of preparing terrorist attacks. Two more activists of the «Islamic state» were detained in Jenin.
According to sources «Sieves Beth», the radical Islamists were planning attacks on foreign tourists and local Arab Christians in the Holy places of pilgrimage. One of the goals of terrorists could be the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem (which in 2002 seized the militants of Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad).
«Sieves Beth» notes that on the night of Christmas in Bethlehem this year was attended by about 6 thousand pilgrims.
Based on available data, increased security measures in Bethlehem and other places visited by Christian pilgrims will be retained until after the Christmas holidays (at least until 8 January).