POLICE were called to break up a fight between clerics — at the church believed to be built on the spot where Jesus was born.
Rival groups of broom-wielding Orthodox and Armenian clerics clashed at the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem, Palestine, when tensions flared during the cleaning of the church for the Orthodox Christian celebrations in early January.
Around 100 priests and monks were thought to be involved in the dispute, which was over the boundaries of the territory the different groups care for within the church.
The former Palestinian Minister of Tourism and Head of the Palestinian forces in Bethlehem were both slightly hurt in the scrap.
Relationships between the Orthodox, Armenian, and Catholic clerics who share responsibility for the church have often been difficult, and there have been similar scuffles in recent years.
Lieutenant-Colonel Khaled al-Tamimi said: "It was a trivial problem that occurs every year.
"Everything is alright and things have returned to normal."
He said there were no arrests made because the monks who were involved are "men of God".