Jerusalem-Bethlehem tourism bureau opens

The Tourism Ministry said Wednesday it has opened a bureau at the crossing between Jerusalem and Bethlehem "to ensure the smooth passage of tourists traveling between the two cities." The bureau will operate five days a week between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the 24-hour Rachel crossing point; it will coordinate between Israeli and Palestinian authorities. The bureau was established in time for the Christmas holiday period during which an influx of Christian tourists is expected to visit the historically significant Bethlehem. The ministry said that 80,000 Christian tourists are expected to arrive in Israel for the Christmas holiday.