Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Crowds Flock to See Newborn in Bethlehem

No, it ain't Jesus...

From Reuters:

A baby born in Bethlehem is drawing crowds by the thousands.

Palestinians in the West Bank town revered by Christians as Jesus's birthplace have been thronging to the adjacent Aida refugee camp for a glimpse of the 11-day-old infant many are calling a "miracle baby".

The boy has gained attention for being born with a large birthmark across his cheek that roughly forms in Arabic letters the name of his uncle, Ala, a Hamas militant killed by Israeli troops after he was alleged to have planned a suicide bombing.

The family, devout Muslims, called it a divine message of support for the Palestinians against Israel, though some local Christians preparing for subdued Christmas observances have quietly dismissed it as lacking any religious significance.

The Israeli army declined comment but one security source said: "It sounds very freaky". The family denied any hoax.