Dozens joined a sit-in in the southern occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem on 2nd April to mark the 15th anniversary of the deadly Israeli siege of the Nativity Church, as well as express solidarity with tens of Palestinians who were deported from the West Bank following the 39-day Israeli blockade of the holy site. Around 220 locals, including several dozen resistance fighters and 40 priests and nuns, sought sanctuary inside the church on April 2, 2002 when Israeli tanks surrounded Bethlehem during the Second Intifada. The siege on the site, believed to be Jesus’ birthplace, sparked outrage in the Vatican, as monks sheltering inside pleaded for international assistance. The Israeli military shocked the world by attacking the church, killing eight Palestinians and injuring 27. The siege came to an end on May 10, when the Israelis struck a deal with Palestinian leaders that ultimately saw 39 Palestinians who had sought sanctuary in the church exiled to Gaza and Europe.