compiled by Dee Finney

In Christian belief, Jesus Christ is the Son of God, one third of the Blessed Trinity which comprises himself, his Father, and the Holy Spirit. Sent to Earth to atone for the awful sins of mankind, Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem, to mortal parents by virginal birth, known to Christians as 'the Immaculate Conception'. His mother on Earth was Mary, his father Joseph. Mary was elevated to the status of Queen of Heaven after Jesus' death, while Joseph was made a saint.

In John 7, the Jews are discussing the origin of the Messiah. Because he grew up in Nazareth, they assumed he did not come from Bethlehem: "Does not scripture say that the Christ must be descended from David and come from the town of Bethlehem? So the people could not agree about him.

5-7-92 DREAM - I was in a corner windowed room that had brown shades on the narrow windows. There was a man standing in one window so close to the glass he looked like he was part of it. I recognized him as a past preacher of mine. 

As I pulled up the shades to let the light in and to see the view, one of the shades had a long message written on it. The name that was repeated in many of the sentences was Jesse. I knew that the message shouldn't be hidden from the world and that I should copy it on the computer for distribution. I wasn't able to print it out immediately on that computer, so I sat on a street corner and began to type it as traffic went by.

(Jesse means 'wealthy) or (Jesse - Firm, or a gift, a son of Obed, the son of Boaz and Ruth (Ruth 4:17,22; Matthew 1:5,6; Luke 3:32). He was the father of eight sons, the youngest of whom was David (1 Samuel 17:12). The phrase "stem of Jesse" is used for the family of David (Isaiah 11:1), and "root of Jesse" for the Messiah (Isaiah 11:10; Revelation 5:5). Jesse was a man apparently of wealth and position at Bethlehem (1 Samuel 17:17,18,20; Psalms 78:71). The last reference to him is of David's procuring for him an asylum with the king of Moab (1 Samuel 22:3).


12-15-98 - DREAM - THE CHRISTMAS LIGHT - (When I went to bed last night, and turned off the light, I noticed a bright light shining on my pillow right where I was going to lay my head. I must have seen this light hundreds of times before because it was the light from the yard across the street on a tall pole. We have one of those big blue lights too...perched high on the house that comes on automatically when it gets dark outside and shines in every direction to provide us all with a sense of safety. Our light shines into our neighbor's yards like our neighbors light shines into ours. During the night, our outside world is bathed in a blue glow from those lights. Out neighbors, in turn also have these large blue lights. Our world is never dark.)

When I closed my eyes after my head lay gently on my pillow, I immediately saw a web page titled "The Christmas Light". The houses and trees in our neighborhood these days is all aglow with multiple white and colored lights festooned everywhere and people drive around to see each other's Christmas lights. But the original Christmas had it's own blue light, "The Star of Bethlehem".

The web page I was seeing then showed me a photograph of a Hindu man, holding in his arms a baby ... not the baby Jesus, but a 7 headed being with a skinny body. It was most grotesque to see. I wondered what that had to do with the Christmas light. I came to find that there was indeed a 7 headed being responsible for our creation, and without it there would be no Christmas light. I presented this page here:

"The Star of Bethlehem".



I went to the bathroom and these two words boomed into my head by an unknown male voice.

I researched them and added it to these two pages - TWO SUNS and STAR OF BETHLEHEM.

NOTE: SOL INVICTUS is the name of the Sun God worshipped before Christ. It was part of the symbolism in the religion of Mithras. Constantine, in the 300 A.D. wanted to get along with the Christians but didn't accept Christianity until he was on his deathbed. Constantine had the symbol of Sol Invictus on the reverse side of the Roman Coins.

Timothy McVeigh also used Sol Invictus in a poem read when he was put to death. Sol Invictus means "the Unconquered Sun".

From John Leary:

Sunday, June 24, 2001: (St. John the Baptist)

Jesus said: "My people, I draw your attention to the infancy of Moses and My own infancy as we both were called to be ‘deliverers’. Moses was called to deliver his people from the Egyptians and I was called by My Father to be the Savior and Redeemer of all mankind from their sins. Moses was placed in the water to save his life from the decree to kill all the Hebrew boys. As an infant, My parents had to take Me to Egypt to save My life from Herod who had all the young boys killed in Bethlehem. Many parallels occurred with the manna in the desert and the Bread of Life I have given you in My Eucharistic Host. Every child has a mission and a plan from God for their lives. That is why abortion is such a dreadful sin because it takes a life and thwarts God’s plan for that life. Every new life is so important to protect them from harm, because you do not know what God has in store for that life. Preserve life in all of its stages because each life is a unique part of creation."


From John Leary

Friday, November 23, 2001:

Jesus said: "My people, this sand storm is a lot like life where you must withstand the many tests of life to keep your faith in Me. Many times you are blinded by the desires of comforts and pleasures of the world. Even today with the launch of your Christmas shopping season, the world of materialism is blowing its sands of desire in your face. There are three tests of lust, pride, and greed for money or possessions that everyone must face. Unless you stop at My oasis of prayer and grace of My sacraments, you will not be able to endure these temptations of the evil one. Most of your sins are rooted in these earthly passions, but you are a person of body and soul and your spiritual nature should be attracted to more spiritual goals than those of the body. As you prepare physically for buying gifts at Christmas, you should also prepare your spiritual gifts of mercy for the infant child of Bethlehem."

Jesus said: "My people, this war on terrorism is being slowly dragged out with continuous bombing of the Taliban positions. There has been some dramatic progress in the fighting, but the remaining holdouts may be harder to find, let alone finding Bin Laden. This war will begin to suffer from war expenses and possible loss of life. The more lives that are lost, the less popular this war will become. The goals of this war need to be more specific and decisions to go after other countries could cause support for this war to waver. Pray that this war will come to a quick end before it could spread into a wider war with other countries or between various
religions. I have told you before that if this war spreads, it could be the beginning of the coming tribulation. Be faithful in reaching out to save souls because you are in a great battle for souls as I will be coming to cleanse the earth of all sin."


Peace Treaty and the Calendar

In September 1999 a long-awaited peace treaty, known as WYE II, was signed between the PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. The signature, which had taken place on the 4th September 1999 at the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sham El Sheikh, was, in fact to become officially effective seven days later i.e. on the 11 September 1999. The actual wording on the WYE II treaty reads "This Memorandum will enter into force one week from the date of its signature. Made and signed in Sharm El Sheikh, this Fourth day of September 1999." The WYEE II agreement was so named because it followed the so-called Wye I negotiations that begun on the 9th and 10th September 1993 by an secret exchange of private letters between PLO chairman Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. These letters revealed that the two bitter enemies had, in fact, been engaged for many months in secret negotiations in Oslo, Norway. In Rabin's letter it is confirmed that the PLO, which so far had been unofficially represented in the Palestinian Delegation established under the so-called Madrid formula, was to be recognized by Israel as the only representative of the Palestinian people. Rabin's official recognition, which is dated 10th September 1993, came in reply to a letter from Arafat dated 9th September 1993, in which the PLO also recognized the State of Israel and further pledged to delete certain articles in the old PLO Charter which had denied the existence of Israel. These negotiations ended in the so-called ‘Declaration of Principles’ signed on the 13th September 1993, and finally led to the WYE II peace treaty that came into effect on the 11th September 1999. To many radical Islamic fundamentalists and, to be fair, to many radical Jewish fundamentalists, the peace treaty was seen as a terrible betrayal of the worse possible kind and it probably was the main cause of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin in 1995. Not surprisingly, many regarded the date of “11th September” as the 'Day of Infamy' when their historical religious cause was finally sold out by Arafat and Barak. Ironically, this ‘Day of Infamy’ also happened to be in the year 1999, when the ‘New Year’ of the Jews and also the ‘New Year’ of the Egyptian Copts fell on the 11th September. The Jewish ‘New Year’ is generally known as Rosh Hashanah (which means ‘Beginning of the Year’), but it is also called Yom Hadin (the Day of Judgment); Yom Hazikaron (the Day of Memorial) and is thought of as ‘The Day of Penitence’ when starts a period of ‘ten days of penitence’ leading to Yom Kippur ‘The Day of Atonement’. But the Jewish ‘New Year’ has a much deeper meaning to orthodox Jews. It is associated to the Messianic Age, and many Jews today actually believe that it will be on that ‘Feast of Trumpets’ that their long awaited Messiah will come and make his appearance on the ‘Temple’ at Jerusalem. This day, it is said, will be the ‘ultimate redemption’ of Israel. Curiously, in recent years fundamental Christians have also associated the 11th September with the Second Coming of Christ, probably to conform with the ‘Rosh Hashanah’ Judaic prophecies but also, apparently, because some believe the true ‘star of Bethlehem’ appeared to the Magi on the 11th September 3 BC in the east, when a bright light was seen at the conjunction of the ‘star of kings’, Regulus, and the ‘planet of kings’, Jupiter, and when the sun, Venus and Mercury were in Virgo.


2000-SEP-21: Dan Millar, mentioned above, estimates this date as that of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Four events happen on that day, a Thursday. The sidereal day is reset. It is also the Jewish New Year, using the Canaanite calendar that was in use within ancient Israel prior to the Babylonian Captivity. It is the time of the Jewish "Feast of Jubilees" according to a message given by the Virgin Mary to Father Stefan Gobbi. This feast occurs only once every fifty years. This date is also the Autumn Equinox.

2000-MAY-31: The Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in front of Taurus and the coming back of the Star of Bethlehem like 7.B.C. Some people expect a supernatural event comparable to the birth of Jesus.

2000-DEC-25: According to the 1997-JUN-24 issue of Sun Magazine Pope John XXIII predicted in 1962 that Christ would appear in the sky over New York City. He will announce the creation of a 1000-year paradise, to be proceeded by six months of great sorrow.

(Excerpted from a web page which has been removed or 'moved' on the internet) Unknown url

The Egyptians had a name for the body as the locus of transformations, which carry the central meaning of all theologies. This name now rises out of the dim mists of ancient Egyptian books to enlighten all modern Bible comprehension. This city of the body, where the sun of soul sank to its death on the cross of matter, to re-arise in a new birth, was called the city of the sun, or in Greek, Heliopolis , but in the Egyptian, ANU. The name was given to an actual Egyptian city, where the rites of the death, burial and resurrection of Osiris or Horus were enacted each year; but the name bore a theological significance before it was given to a geographical town.

The name is obviously made up of NU, the name for the mother heaven, or empty space, or abyss of nothingness, and Alpha privative, meaning, as in thousands of words, "not." A-NU would then mean "not-nothingness," or a world of concrete actuality, the world of physical substantial manifestation. Precisely such a world it is in which units of virginal consciousness go to their death and rise again. A-NU is then the physical body of man on earth. The soul descends out of the waters of the abyss of the NUN, or space in its undifferentiated unity, which is the sign and name of all things negative. The NUN is indeed our "none." Life in the completeness of its unity is negative. To become positively manifest it must differentiate itself into duality, establish positive-negative tension, and later split up into untold multiplicity. This brings out the significance of the Biblical word "multiply." Life can not manifest itself in concrete forms until it multiplies itself endlessly. Unit life of deity must break itself up into infinite fragments in order to fill empty space with a multitude of worlds and beings of different natures. The primal Sea or Mother must engender a multitudinous progeny, to spawn the limitless shoals of organic fish-worlds. This is the meaning of the promise given to Abraham, that his seed should multiply till it filled the earth with offspring countless as the sands of the seashore. And if life was symboled by bread, as the first birth, and by fish, as the second, then we might expect to find in old religious typology the allegory of a Christ figure multiplying loaves and fishes! Are we surprised to find that the Gospel Jesus does this very thing, multiplying the fish loaves and two small fishes to feed a multitude!

This is astonishing enough in all conscience, but it yields in wonder to the next datum of Comparative Religion which came to our notice as a further tie between the Bible and antecedent Egyptian mythology. Who can adequately measure the seriousness of the challenge which this item of scholarship presents to Gospel historicity? For a discovery of sensational interest came to light when a passage was found in the Book of the Dead which gave to Anu the characteristic designation, "the place of multiplying bread"! Here in the long silent tomes of old Egypt was found the original, the prototype, of the miracle of the loaves and the fishes in the Gospels of Christianity. And a meaning never before apprehended had to be read into this New Testament wonder. At last we were instructed to catch in the miracle the sense that the physical body, as A-NU, was the place where the corpus of the Christ’s deific power was broken into an infinite number of fragments and distributed out among a multitude of creatures, enhungered after a three-days’ fast, or deprivation of the food of spiritual life in their sojourn in the three kingdoms, the mineral, vegetable and animal, before reaching the plane of mind. Here are all the elements of the inner meaning of the Christian Eucharist: the broken but multiplied fragments of the body of the god, distributed to feed hungry humanity. And as humanity is composed of twelve groups of divine conscious units, there were gathered up twelve baskets of fragments! And this episode of the Christ’s ostensible life is found to be Egyptian in origin and meaning and symbolic in character!

But new implications arise and lead us on to more startling disclosures. The Hebrews came along and appropriated Egyptian material. They picked up the name ANU and fitting it back into its zodiacal setting as Virgo, they called it the "house of Bread." This required their adding to ANU their word for "house," which, as anyone knows, is Beth. This yields us Beth-Anu. Now it is a fact of common philological knowledge that the ancient Greek and Egyptian "U" is rendered as "Y" when the words are brought over into English. The "U" became a "Y," and Beth-Anu now stands before us as the Bethany of the Gospels! Bethany is thus just the sign of Virgo, as the "house of Bread," the home of the great star Spica, the head of wheat!

But let us say "house of Bread" in ordinary Hebrew. What further astonishment strikes us here, as we find it reads Beth-Lehem (Lechem, Lekhem), for lechem, lekhem, is bread in everyday Hebrew. The Christ was born in Bethany or Bethlehem, the astrological "house of Bread." (Later it seems that the two signs, Virgo and Pisces, and their symbols, bread and fish, were almost interchangeably confused or commingled in the symbolic imagery. This was natural, since the two signs represented the same body of man in its two aspects of dying and being reborn, and the two processes are confusedly interblended.)

"The Symbolism and Spiritual Significance of the Number 153"

Some say: Star of Bethlehem was a spaceship. Bethlehem = Beth (container of or birthplace of?)-Elohim

Revealing the Star of Bethlehem, by Michael R. Molnar

The Star of Bethlehem: An Astronomical Perspective, by Nick Strobel

Star of Bethlehem, Magi, Astronomy by Johnboy

The Star of Bethlehem: A Search from Alta Vista

Six: The combination of the meanings associated to number Three. Associated with the Hexagon. The Cube, a solid with six square faces. Associated with the six pointed star, the Star of Bethlehem, which guided the Three Kings to Baby Jesus and for the Jewish; the Star of David, also known as the Perfect Hexagram

"The Symbolism and Spiritual Significance of the Number Three"

by William Butler Yeats

TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of i{Spiritus Mundi}
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?




The Cave of the Nativity is the site that Christians have officially recognized and celebrated as the birthplace of Jesus Christ since A.D. 326. At that time, Empress Helena and her son, Emperor Constantine, erected a Basilica above the cave that local Christians had celebrated as Christ's birthplace since the time of His death. This Basilica is the oldest active Christian church in the world.

Constantine and his mother Helena, started in this period a tradition of building churches in Palestine to mark the places considered holy to Christianity. Two famous chuches built initially in this period are the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. This was the first phase of considerable Christian investment in their Holy Land over the next centuries.

Since that time, the cave and Basilica have gone through periods of neglect and even destruction followed by elaborate restoration efforts. Much of the damage to the Basilica and cave was the result of ever-changing forms of government including rule by the Muslims, Franks, Bibars, Franciscans, Greeks and others.

It was almost completely destroyed in 529 A.D. during the Samaritan revolt It was however rebuilt by the Roman Emperor Justinian in the 6th century. The Basilica of the Nativity was the only church that escaped destruction during the Persian invasion of 614 A.D. The
Persians spared the church when they discovered at a facade a colorful mosaic
representing the three Magi who had come to Bethlehem from Persia guided by the
Star to adore the Infant Jesus. 

Beautiful mosaics originally covered the north and south sides of the walls. Some of the mosaics are still visible, and a portion is under wooden coverings at a depth of 2.5 ft below the existing floor. The central part of the transept belongs to the Greek Orthodox while the north eastern part belongs to the Armenian Orthodox. In the north apse is the entrance to the church of St. Catherine, the Parish church of the Roman Catholic community. According to a Status quo, the Roman Catholics also have certain rights in the Basilica. 

The Grotto of the Nativity lies beneath the central part of the transept which is situated in
the eastern part of the Basilica opposite the iconostasis. It can be reached by a circular
staircase on either side of the raised platform.

Bethlehem witnessed important events whether since the arrival of the Crusaders or after their forcible retreat. As a result of an earthquake in 1834, the Church of the Nativity suffered great damage and essential repairs had to be made. In 1869 the Grotto was partly destroyed by fire. 

The War of 1967 - 

Bethlehem: Israeli tanks and snipers have completely surrounded the old city of Bethlehem and Manger Square. In the morning hours, the Israeli army shelled and bombed the southern gate of the Nativity Church next to the Milk Grotto, causing massive damage to Bethlehem's historical sites. Inside the Nativity Church approximately 250 people have remained closed-in, including civil servants (tourist and traffic police), the governor of Bethlehem, some families, and resistance fighters who have laid down their weapons. Several of the people in the church are reportedly injured.

Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2001 11:38:42 -0000

Subject: Iraq'a move on Jordan


Iraq's war move in Jordan

Troops secretly infiltrate in preparation for attack on Israel .  Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has secretly dispatched troops across the frontier in Jordan in preparation for an attack on Israel, according to the intelligence sources of DEBKA-Net-Weekly.

Iraq military units have been infiltrating neighboring Jordan for the past 10 days, according to the report. Their mission, say DEBKA sources, is to reach the Israeli border, cross the Jordan River and move into the main Palestinian cities of the West Bank – Ramallah, Jenin, Nablus and Bethlehem – and fight alongside the Palestinians.

The invading units are highly trained and well-equipped commandos able to operate and survive in the field for long periods when cut off from their headquarters and sources of supply, the report says. They are still reportedly in the Jordanian desert.

The incursion was detected by Israeli reconnaissance planes and the Ofek 3 and 5 spy satellites.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon immediately dispatched high-ranking Israeli army intelligence officers to Amman to show King Abdullah of Jordan the evidence of the Iraqi penetration to his kingdom.

The king at once proclaimed a supreme state of alert in all Jordanian army units. Israel poured troops into the Jordan Valley region, deploying them along the Jordan River and Jordanian frontier to block off the West Bank to Iraqi penetration.

According to DEBKA-Net-Weekly's military sources, the Iraqi forces' first entry point in Jordan was Wadi El Murbah in the central zone of its eastern border with Iraq. From there, they moved to Wadi Athner. A second penetration area was Wadi Hawran in southwest Iraq, not far from the points where the Iraqi, Saudi and Jordanian frontiers meet. The Iraqi forces advanced through the wadi, bypassing Jabal

Unayzah in Iraq and coming out inside Jordanian territory near the town of Ruwayshid.

DEBKA's sources in Amman and Jerusalem report that both Israel and Jordan view the Iraqi military operation as an act of war against them. While maintaining official silence, certainly on the Iraqi invasion of Jordan, both countries consider themselves in a state of war with Iraq.

Jordan did attempt in the first days of the incursion to encircle the Iraqi intruders and capture them. But some days of intensive effort with airborne support showed the Jordanian Special Forces that they are no match for 1,000 to 1,500 crack Iraqi commandos. Jordanian fighter planes sent into action were met by dozens of Iraqi fighters, put up over the penetration regions, from Al-Baghdadi, the main Iraqi air base in the central region, south of the town of Arrutba. When SA-6 surface-to-air missile batteries at two recently reopened Iraqi air bases, H3 in the northwest and H3 in the northeast, lit up their radar and locked on to the elderly Jordanian aircraft, lacking electronic counter-measures, they turned tail without snapping a single reconnaissance photo.

The Jordanian monarch then reportedly made his first approach to the U.S. and Israel for help. Israeli reconnaissance aircraft, under the umbrella of Israeli fighter planes, flew into Jordanian airspace. Whenever they appeared, Iraqi planes bugged out and Iraqi missile battery operators turned off their radar. Jordan also sent desert reconnaissance patrols and intelligence units into Iraq to bring back information on supply lines and reinforcements.

What they found sounded even louder alarm bells in Amman: The elite Hummarabi division of the Republican Guard, equipped with T-72 tanks, was now in position between the Jordanian border and the two H bases. They also learned that the Iraqi army had sent at least four armored infantry brigades into the area.

Equally troubling, at the beginning of the week, the Iraqi force already in Jordan was sighted moving west, several groups having reached the sand dunes and wadis known as Abu Haffrah, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) inside Jordanian territory.

King Abdullah decided to take command of the Jordanian forces still chasing the Iraqis intruders.

DEBKA-Net-Weekly's military sources report that the longer the king, a career officer before he ascended the throne, spent out in the field in eastern Jordan, the more anxious he became. He realized that overcoming the Iraqi force already inside the kingdom would not end his worries. There was still the next stage of Saddam's plan to face up to, as indicated in the latest intelligence reports on his desk. Iraq had a second wave of troops poised ready to cross into Jordan. Furthermore, Saddam Hussein had secretly appointed his eldest son, Qusay, supreme commander of what the Iraqi president was now describing as "the Iraqi-Jordanian-Israeli front".

At a military ceremony attended by top Iraqi generals, Saddam, the reports said, had sworn to spare neither effort nor money to provide Qusay with any reinforcements he might request.

Qusay is said to have set up his headquarters at al-Bagdad air force base, to the rear of the Iraqi forces deployed between the H bases and the Jordanian border.

Jordanian intelligence also reported a large concentration of Iraqi forces on the main roads leading from Iraq to Damascus and from Iraq to the Golan Heights.

The Jordanian king was forced to realize that he was not dealing merely with a small-scale invasion of mobile Iraqi forces, but with preparations by his eastern neighbor for war on a regional scale, far beyond the scope of the Jordanian army on its own.

What the intelligence reports omitted to mention was whether Saddam Hussein's move had been coordinated with either – or both – Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat and Syrian President Bashar Assad.

DEBKA-Weekly-Net sources in Jerusalem and Washington report that at the beginning of the week, King Abdullah put his overseas connections to the test. He asked President Bush for American intervention against the Iraqi threat. He also turned to Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon to invoke the secret Israeli-Jordanian defense pact signed by the late King Hussein and Yitzhak Rabin that obliges Israel to act against military or terrorist elements endangering the existence of the Kingdom of Jordan or the Hashemite throne.

Several of DEBKA-Net-Weekly's sources report that Israel has taken initial steps in fulfillment of its pact with Jordan. Those steps have reportedly met with some resistance in Washington. When consulted, the Bush administration indicated that however small, Israel's moves must be kept utterly secret so as not to upset U.S. plans for Iraq.

The coming weekend will be crucial in this regard, according to the report. The Jordanian-Iraqi clashes, if they continue, could be the first military step on the road to a Middle East war – without the world even noticing.


MORE On the Alleged Iraqi Troop Incursion

Our trusted friend and colleague Jim Bramlett is keeping a watchful eye on the alleged Iraqi troop movement based on a DEBKAfile and WorldNetDaily story. He has reported back the following:

Dear friends,

Regarding the disputed Iraqi military incursion into Jordan, I have just received a report from a friend with a close contact very high in Jordanian circles. This Jordanian contact reports that the story IS, in fact, true, and that there is a conscious effort on the part of the news media to suppress the story.

(If this had been an Israeli incursion into a neighboring Arab nation it would have been screaming front-page headlines.)


Date: Sat, 28 Jul 2001 11:44:20 -0000

URGENT: Israel Supreme Court Allows Cornerstone to be laid Sunday

The Temple Mount Faithful Will Go Up to the Temple Mount on Tisha B'Av

The Faithful Petition the Supreme Court to Allow Them To Take the Cornerstone With Them On This Day

On Tisha b'Av (29th July 2001), the day which commemorates the destruction of both Temples, 2,587 years since the destruction of the First Temple in 586BCE and 1,931 years since the destruction of the Second Temple in 70CE, the Temple Mount Faithful Movement will go up to the Temple Mount. They will go up not only to mourn the destruction of both Temples but, even more then this, to start the building of the end-time Third Temple. This is the reason that the Faithful want to take the cornerstone with them and to bring a new prophetic end-time call to the people of Israel and all the world that it is time to rebuild the Temple as the God of Israel expects of us and to bring the mourning of so many years to an end when the Temple is rebuilt.

This will be the end of the time of the destruction of the Temple, Jerusalem and the land and people of Israel. It will also be the beginning of the time of God's judgement on all the enemies of Israel who for thousands of years and again in our time are trying to continue the destruction and to again destroy the great dream and desire of the God and people of Israel to rebuild the house of God on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem and to destroy God's prophetic end-time re-creation of the people and land of Israel and their eternal capital, Jerusalem.

Greek Orthodox monks escape Bethlehem church siege

BETHLEHEM, West Bank, April 6, 2002 (Reuters) - The Israeli army said on Saturday it had helped three Greek Orthodox clergymen and two Palestinian women slip out of Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity, where dozens of Palestinian gunmen have been holed up.

Reuters Television filmed the five emerging from an Israeli armoured personnel carrier that brought them from Bethlehem where Israeli tanks and troops have been deployed. Four other clerics secretly fled on Friday from the church.

Israeli army spokesman Olivier Rafowicz said the army was negotiating with the gunmen to surrender and free the "hostages" he said they had taken among clergymen and civilians -- most of them apparently church workers -- confined to the church since the standoff began on Tuesday.

"We know there are between 150 and 200 armed men inside the church. We are trying hard to find a peaceful solution," he said.

The army, which accuses the gunmen of using the church as a sanctuary and sheltering among nuns and priests, said soldiers were under strict orders not to fire at the church and has pledged not to damage the shrine.

Palestinians say it is the troops surrounding the church, built over the spot where Christians believe Jesus was born, who have effectively taken its occupants hostage.

Vatican sources said earlier that its diplomats had put forward a proposal to Israelis and Palestinians to end the standoff at the church.

Meanwhile, the Franciscan order in the Holy Land said an Israeli sniper fired at its monastery near the church, narrowly missing a friar -- an allegation denied by the Israeli army.

A Reuters correspondent in Bethlehem said Israeli and Palestinian snipers were on rooftops throughout the city. She said occasional bursts of gunfire echoed through the streets of but it was impossible to determine who had fired the shots.

The Roman Catholic, Armenian and Greek Orthodox churches share custody of the church.

The Israeli army said Palestinian militants had planted a bomb in a main water pipe near the church in an attempt to kill Israeli soldiers stationed nearby.

The army said such bombs were normally destroyed through a controlled explosion. But due to fears a controlled blast could burst the water main, the army was trying to move the bomb to another location where it would be defused, a spokesman said.

The army launched its operation in Bethlehem and six other West Bank cities after a deadly wave of Palestinian suicide bombings killed more than 40 people over the Passover holiday.


Israel says the fire broke out by accident 

Monday, 8 April, 2002 
Vatican outrage over church siege

The Vatican has issued a stern warning to Israel to respect religious sites in line with its international obligations, following a gun battle around Bethlehem's besieged Church of the Nativity. 

Spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said the Vatican was following events "with extreme apprehension" and trying to establish the truth about the fighting that flared early on Monday. 

Israel says its troops are under orders not to fire at holy places and blamed Palestinian militants for a fire near the church, which is revered by Christians as the birthplace of Jesus

Several hundred Palestinian gunmen and civilians fleeing Israeli tanks have been holed up in the church complex for nearly a week, along with a group of monks and nuns. 

A spokesman for Catholic monks in the Holy Land said earlier that Israeli soldiers were guilty of an "indescribable act of barbarity". 

Israel had broken its international obligations and risked "long-term and incalculable" consequences, Father David Jaeger said. 

Speaking from Rome, he said monks at the church had reported damage to "sacred spaces"
and evidence that Israeli troops had entered the church. 

The Pope, who has urged people to pray for peace in the Middle East, on Monday described the violence in the Holy Land as having reached "unimaginable and intolerable" levels.

The Israeli army says Palestinian gunmen provoked a fire which broke out near the Church of the Nativity on Monday. 

Gunmen had opened fire from a belltower, wounding two Israeli border policemen in a nearby rooftop look-out, an army officer told Reuters news agency. 

He said the Israelis returned fire and a smoke grenade started the blaze in a second-floor
meeting hall overlooking the Basilica of St Catherine, adjacent to the Church of the Nativity. 

One Palestinian gunman was shot dead in the battle, the Israeli source said. 

But a priest inside the church, Father Amjad Sabbara, told the BBC that the Palestinian killed was a police officer who had been trying to douse the flames. 

He said the blaze had burned for an hour, destroying a piano, chairs, altar cloths and ceremonial cups. 

Father Sabbara estimated that there were 240 people in the church. Some were armed, he said, but they were "not using their arms". 

The Mayor of Bethlehem, Hanna Nasser, told the BBC that mosaics inside the Basilica of St Catherine had been "affected by the bullets". 

Staying put 

The Israeli army has been conducting a major military operation across the West Bank for over a week, in response to a wave of suicide bombings by Palestinian militants. 

"It really involves going through the cities and refugee camps and taking out the infrastructure of the terrorists: weapons, documents, explosive material, laboratories," army spokesman Captain Jacob Dalal told the BBC. 

Israeli troops have been using loudspeakers to demand the surrender of the Palestinians inside
the Nativity complex.  

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said on Monday that his soldiers would not "defile the holiness of the site as the [Palestinians] have" but added that the troops would remain in place until
the gunmen inside were captured. 

In Britain, Foreign Office Minister Ben Bradshaw described Israeli actions in the area as "totally unacceptable". 

The Vatican is reported to be working out an agreement with the Israelis on safe passage for the Palestinians inside the church to the Gaza Strip. 

Bethlehem church deal agreed

22.36PM BST, 9 May 2002

A deal to end the 38-day stand-off at Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity has been reached, according to Israeli officials.

The 13 militants holed up in the church and who Israel wants deporting will now be sent to a number of countries.

A previous deal that would have sent the 13 militants to Italy collapsed on Tuesday when Italian officials said they had not be fully consulted about the plan.

But under the new agreement, reached by European negotiators, Italy and Spain will take some of the men while the remainder would be spread among at least four other countries,

All 13 will first be taken to Cyprus and from there flown to their final destinations.

"Cyprus has agreed to take the 13 people as a temporary measure," said Cypriot Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides at a press conference in Nicosia.

A British military aircraft is reported to have taken off from the Akrotiri RAF base on Cyprus to fly to Israel to pick up the Palestinians but it was not confirmed by the Foreign Office.

The siege began on April 2 when dozens of Palestinians wanted by Israel burst into the churchafter Israeli troops reoccupied Bethlehem in what it called a sweep for militants after a wave of suicide bombings.

Meanwhile, reservists have been called up after the Israeli government gave the army the go-ahead to retaliate for a suicide bombing that killed 15 people on Tuesday.

In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians crowded into stores and hoarded supplies for fear of a major Israeli assault.

Israeli army radio said immediate call-up notices were sent to many reservists who were being inducted into their units.

Many Palestinians expected Israeli forces to hit the Gaza Strip after Israeli media said Tuesday's suicide bomber who targeted a pool hall near Tel Aviv was thought to have come from the small, poor territory which borders Egypt.

Palestinians, meanwhile, arrested 16 Hamas members in a first sign that their leader, Yasser Arafat, was taking action against terror groups. The organisation claimed responsibility for the bombing.

The Israeli has not said what type of response it has authorised, but a strike against Gaza was widely expected. Hamas' senior leaders are in Gaza, and Israel has so far refrained from targeting them.

Foreign Minister Shimon Peres suggested that the army was not planning a large-scale operation.

"We are going to strike at the nests of terrorism, whether in Gaza or elsewhere," Mr Peres said.

"The intention is to reach only those places where the isolated concentrations of suicide terrorists are located."


5-11-2002 Bethlehem church standoff ends

Israel set to withdraw as 13 suspected militants exiled and 26 released into Gaza Strip, after five-week siege

BETHLEHEM - A tense stand-off between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen at the Church of the Nativity ended after 39 days yesterday, with 13 suspected militants exiled and 26 released into the Gaza Strip.

Agreement on their release ended a week of cliffhanger negotiations and set the stage for an Israeli withdrawal from Bethlehem, where residents had been under round-the-clock curfews for more than five weeks.

The army questioned the gunmen briefly at a nearby military base before 13 of them, regarded by Israel as 'senior terrorists', were flown to Cyprus - a temporary stop from where they are to be sent next week to at least seven European countries.

The other 26 were driven in two buses to the Gaza Strip. Under the deal, this group is to face trial in a Palestinian court, but it is unclear how they will be dealt with.

Eighty-four Palestinian civilians and policemen not wanted by Israel were released. Police also removed 10 foreign activists who had refused to leave.

As the siege ended, a blast rocked the southern Israeli town of Beersheba. At least four people were wounded. Two suspects were arrested.

Israeli troops also massed outside the Gaza Strip in retaliation for a suicide attack in northern Israel on Tuesday.

Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said he expected 'careful and measured' action against militants in Gaza and that Israel had no plans to reconquer the territory.

Israeli media said the suicide bomber who killed 15 Israelis in Rishon Letzion came from Gaza, where the headquarters of the militant Islamic group Hamas is based.

Sensing an impending attack, some among the million residents of the overcrowded strip of refugee camps began stockpiling food and water.

Since March 29, Israeli forces have been attacking Palestinian-run cities to crush the infrastructure behind a wave of suicide bombings.

The military steps initiated by Israel showed Prime Minister Ariel Sharon set no store by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's order for a crackdown on militants by his own battered security force.

In the past, Mr Arafat has ordered arrests only to release the detainees soon after.

In Bethlehem yesterday, the 13 most-wanted were the first to leave the church.

Italy said it would accept some of the 13, along with Spain, Austria, Greece, Luxembourg, Ireland and possibly Canada.

Details would be worked out by European Union foreign ministers on Monday. But they could not go home without Israel's agreement.

Israeli army officials expect a pull-out from Bethlehem within 'a matter of days'.

The siege began on April 2, as more than 200 Palestinians ran into the church, fleeing advancing Israeli troops. --AP, AFP, New York Times

5-11-2002 -

THROUGHOUT THE DAY, black-robed monks and local volunteers scrubbed the church, where tradition holds that Jesus was  born, clearing out trash left behind by more than 200 Palestinians who holed up inside for nearly six weeks.

The siege was lifted Friday after 13 militiamen were deported to Cyprus and 26 others were sent to the Gaza Strip. After the standoff ended, Israeli troops withdrew from Bethlehem, where residents had been confined to their homes under round-the-clock curfews since April 2.

Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah, the top Roman Catholic clergyman in the Holy Land, visited the church Saturday. In the grotto, a few steps down from the basilica, Sabbah knelt and
kissed a silver star on the marble floor, revered by Christians as the spot of Jesus’ birth.
Sabbah and senior clergymen from other denominations, including Greek and Syrian
Orthodox, held hands in the grotto and spoke the Lord’s Prayer in Arabic. 

The various denominations often are at odds in the church where they jealously guard their turf; the Roman Catholics, the Greek Orthodox and the Armenian Orthodox each control different areas of the 4th century basilica.

In one incident in the mid-1980s, monks from different sects fought with broomsticks over who had the right to clean a small section of the wall.

In Saturday’s cleanup, each group concentrated on its area, but in a spirit of togetherness. Three Greek-Orthodox monks wearing latex gloves carried a rolled up carpet across the stone floor. Another monk wiped an icon with a yellow rag and others cleaned smudges from the walls with sponges.

A special service was planned for Sunday, to be led by Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, a Vatican envoy who had been involved in negotiations to end the standoff. It will be a service of “praise, redemption and reconciliation,” carrying the benediction of Pope John Paul II, the Vatican spokesman, Joaquin Navarro-Valls, said in a statement issued in Rome. 

On Friday, after the end of the siege, the basilica had reeked of urine. The stone floor was covered with dirty blankets and mattresses, cigarette lighters and sunglasses. Leftover food covered an altar in the Armenian section. Those inside the church had complained the Israelis occasionally cut the water supply and water was scarce during the siege. There were no toilets inside the basilica and to get to facilities elsewhere required risking Israeli sniper fire to cross an open courtyard. Yet the basilica emerged with little permanent damage.

“It’s not a church any more, it’s a place filled with beds and trash,” said Sandy Shahin, a local teen-ager who rushed into the church minutes after the end of the siege Friday. 

“The smell is too bad. The floor is too bad. I’m filled with fear,” Shahin, a Roman Catholic, said between sobs.

It seemed almost a small miracle that the Grotto of the Nativity, where a silver star installed by the Catholics in 1717 is set in white marble over the exact spot where Christians believe Jesus was born, was immaculate. But the second floor of the Franciscan order’s parish building in the complex looked like a war zone. Walls were pockmarked by bullet holes and scarred by smoke stains.

“I couldn’t imagine something like this,” said Manal Deik, a local banker, standing next to a bullet-riddled church wall that was also marked with graffiti scrawled in Arabic. “We will repair it because the damage is not outside, it’s inside and we can do something about that,” said the 25-year-old Catholic.