8 April 2002

Two Border Policemen wounded near the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem
(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)

Last night, Palestinian gunmen in the Church of the Nativity compound opened fire and threw hand grenades at two IDF posts in the area of Manger Square.

The Palestinian shooting and the grenades caused fire to erupt in several buildings in the compound. The IDF facilitated the entry of Palestinian fire fighters to the area; the fire-fighters succeeded in putting out the fire.

Two border-policemen were wounded by the Palestinian fire, one severely and one lightly; their families have been notified.

The evacuation took place under heavy Palestinian fire. In order to evacuate the wounded policemen, the Israeli force returned fire toward sources of Palestinian fire, killing one of the terrorists. A smoke grenade was also used to help the force to evacuate the injured policemen. There was no use of tear gas against the people holed-up in the church.