Beit Jala Christians protest occupation
"There is a tank on church property," says Bishop Munib A. Younan, head of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Reformation in Beit Jala. "You shouldn't put tanks at a church. It is a place for peace." Israeli forces entered the West Bank town yesterday after repeated firing from the town on Gilo, a Jerusalem suburb. During the first-ever reoccupation of Palestinian-governed territory, about 45 boys between the ages of 10 and 16 were reportedly trapped in an orphanage run by the church and placed in the line of fire. Though soldiers took positions in and above the orphanage building, Israeli military officials told reporters that Israeli forces did not enter the church. Nevertheless, Reuters reports, sandbags, army netting, and blankets were placed inside the church and the town's Christian community center became an Israeli army operation center. The U.S. State Department, Lutheran World Federation, and others condemned the occupation. See Yahoo's full coverage for regular updates on Beit Jala and the escalating violence in the Holy Land.

As Taliban prepares trial against aid workers, it gets sympathy from a U.S. columnist Just when things were starting to look brighter for the eight foreign aid workers arrested for preaching Christianity in Afghanistan, there was more bad news. The radical Islamic Taliban rulers of the country said that its investigation into the aid workers' activities is far from over, and there will be a trial under Shari'ah (Islamic) law. The parents of the two young American women among the aid workers were allowed to visit their daughters, as were diplomats and the International Red Cross. Ironically, if the foreigners are found guilty, they are only subject ...

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