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Israel to Permit Christian Arabs to Cross Border for Christmas

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The Israel Government completed arrangements today for more than 1,000 Christians, mostly Arabs, to cross the Israel-Jordan border into Jordan Friday for the celebration of the Christmas holiday. Similar arrangements have been made for Arabs who are members of the Greek Orthodox Church and will celebrate Christmas two weeks later.

The gates leading to and from the Old City and toward Bethlehem will be left open all through Friday night. More than 400 visitors from various parts of the world are also expected to take advantages of the special arrangements for pilgrims to move between the two countries. A party consisting of three Catholic bishops and 70 pilgrims from Argentina is expected to arrive here in time to pass through the gates.

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