VIDEO: Bethlehemites deported to Gaza after 2002 church siege

An Israeli tank occupies Bethlehem's Manger Square in front of the Church of the Nativity in 2002.

An Israeli tank occupies Bethlehem’s Manger Square in front of the Church of the Nativity in 2002.

My first visit to Palestine was a little over 12 years ago, just days after the end of the siege of the Church of the Nativity by Israeli forces. Following the siege, 13 Palestinians were exiled to Europe and 26 to the Gaza Strip. In my last visit to Gaza this year, I happened to meet some of the Bethlehemite deportees as they rallied in front of UN offices to present a similar petition to UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. In this video, spokesman Fahmi Kanan explains the situation faced by Bethlehem deportees in the open air prison that is Gaza.