PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party declared that the display of the Jewish religious symbols constituted a “stab to Bethlehem and a betrayal of the traditions and values of the Holy Land.”
By Terri Nir, United with Israel
Palestinian terrorists armed with machine guns targeted a Bethlehem hotel on Monday,after a video of a Star of David and Menorah displayed in one of the venue’s meeting halls went viral on Arabic-language social media.
The gunmen fired multiple rounds at the building. No one was hurt.
The hotel’s owner, Elias al-Arja, said that a group of some 300 Christian tourists from the Philippines, who were holding a conference at the site, were responsible for the display.
Al-Arja claimed they had brought in the Jewish symbols without his approval or knowledge, adding that whoever had leaked the footage did so in an attempt to “defame” and “destroy” his business
“We don’t allow Jews to come here,” Al-Arja assured the Palestinian public in an Arabic-language interview. “We never held parties for Jewish holidays. The event was organized by a church from the Philippines.”
The Palestinian Authority Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities said in a Facebook statement that it had temporarily shut down the hotel and launched an investigation into the matter.
Notably, despite claims by some Palestinian leaders that their opposition to Zionism and the State of Israel is not antisemitic, the display of the Jewish symbols was enough to trigger potentially deadly violence from locals.
In fact, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ ruling Fatah party declared that the display of the Jewish religious symbols constituted a “stab to Bethlehem and a betrayal of the traditions and values of the Holy Land.”
Hebrew-language media reported that the gunmen were members of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade terror group.
One masked assailant told local reporters on the scene that “we will strike with an iron fist against anyone who holds a normalization meeting, whether in Bethlehem or any other part of the homeland. The revolution will continue until the liberation of all the Palestinian lands.”
The “normalization” to which the gunman appeared to be referring was the presence of Israelis and Jews in Judea and Samaria, and an acceptance of the existence of the Jewish state.
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The ancient tomb of Rachel, one of the four biblical matriarchs of the Jewish people, is located just outside Bethlehem, less than half a mile away from the hotel.