The Israeli policy in recent weeks has managed not only to isolate Tel Aviv from world public sympathy but has also given rise to yet another terrorist group: The Brigades for the Defence of the Basilica of the Nativity.
This armed Christian group, which was unknown until now, claimed responsibility on Tuesday for an attacks in which shots were fired, wounding three Israeli soldiers the previous day. The soldiers were part of the Israeli armed forces surrounding the Basilica, the same ones who fired into the church where Christ was born on Sunday and who shot the Palestinian fire service workers who tried to extinguish the ensuing fire.
This new terrorist group declared that it intends to “be part of the armed resistance against Israel”. The source added, “We are going to coordinate our operations with the Brigades of the Martyrs of Al-Aqsa (linked to Fatah) and the Ezzedin al-Qassam Brigades (linked to Hammas)”.
Inside the church are around 200 Palestinians, around thirty priests and nuns and an unconfirmed number of civilians, some of whom are wounded and whom the Israeli armed forces refuse to allow out to get to a hospital. They also refuse to allow ambulances through the siege.
This is the first time an armed Christian group has attacked the Israeli forces since the Al-Aqsa Intifada was launches 18 months ago.
Inside the Basilica, conditions are becoming difficult because it is not known if those trapped have enough food. It is reported that the priests have distributed blankets. Neither is it clear how the siege will end because the church and its surroundings is a labyrinth of rooms, corridors and cloisters.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru