Had Jesus' parents Joseph and Mary tried to travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem nowadays, they would find it to be a near impossible task due to the IDF roadblocks and the West Bank security fence, a BBC reporter claimed in a televised broadcast this week.
The news story, by BBC correspondent in Israel Matthew Price, has brought the already shaky relations between the U.K. television channel
and Israel to a new low, Israel's leading newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported Sunday.
In the report, Price reenacted Joseph and Mary's historical route from Nazareth to Bethlehem, by accompanying an Israeli-Arab Nazareth carpenter, who will be forced to skip his annual visit to Bethlehem on Christmas this year, due to the army's traffic restrictions and the exhausting effort entailed in crossing the IDF roadblocks.
Today, Nazareth and Bethlehem are two separate worlds, Price claimed in the broadcast, describing the 'reminders to the Israeli occupation' evident throughout the route archeologist say was taken by Jesus' parents in their trip.
'Jerusalem: City of suicides'
In the section of the report dedicated to Jerusalem, Price called the capital "a town of suicides," and a place of old and new walls.
As expected, the report spurred outrage in the Foreign Ministry and the Prime Minister's Office.
This is one of the most dreadful stories ever broadcasted by the BBC, Foreign Ministry sources said, adding that they plan to officially protest the report to the channel's heads.
"The story is filled with Christian and religious elements, and it unequivocally states that Israel prevents free passage to Bethlehem," a ministry source said.