Scuffles between the rival groups of priests broke out during a cleaning of the church in preparation for Orthodox Christmas on Jan. 7. The BBC reports that about 100 priests fought with brooms as tourists looked on, until Palestinian police broke up the clashes. No one was seriously injured, and there were no arrests.
“No one was arrested because all those involved were men of God,” Bethlehem police Lt. Col. Khaled al-Tamimi told Reuters. Tamimi called the incident “a trivial problem that . . . occurs every year.”