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Fatah members: Israel is threatening Abbas’ life

Headline: “The Church of the Nativity deportees emphasize their support of [PA] President Abbas”

“Fatah Movement activists from the Church of the Nativity who were deported (i.e ., terrorists who held people hostage at the church in 2002, see note below), declared their support of [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas, following the brutal assault by the Israeli government against the president.
The deportees said in a statement that reached [the independent Palestinian news agency] Ma’an that the Israeli government on several occasions has threatened to harm President Abbas…
The deportees warned against the consequences of harming the president, because he is the safety valve of the Palestinian state.”

Siege of the Church of the Nativity - In 2002, during the PA terror campaign (the second Intifada, 2000-2005), Israel launched Operation Defensive Shield in the West Bank to prevent future terror attacks against Israelis. During the operation, 39 terrorists fled to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, using dozens of hostages and the religious site as shields. After 39 days of siege by the Israeli army, the terrorists released the hostages and were deported to Gaza and Cyprus. During the siege, the church was damaged in exchanges of fire between the terrorists and the Israeli army. One clergyman was killed by the terrorists and 8 terrorists were killed by the Israeli army.