Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, has been transformed into an open-air prison by Israeli military checkpoints and the Wall weaving through the town, annexing much of local farmers' land. A checkpoint separates Christians and Muslims in Bethlehem from Jerusalem. Although they are only 10 minutes away from it, most are forbidden from going to their Holy City because of their religion and ethnicity.
Beit Sahour, site of the Shepherds' Fields, is a center of Palestinian nonviolent resistance, pioneering many creative techniques in the first and second intifadas and continuing today. In 1989, the people of Beit Sahour organized a tax strike under the words "No taxation without representation." In response, Israel placed Beit Sahour under curfew for 42 days, blocked food and supplies from the small town, prevented reporters from getting in and cut telephone lines to prevent residents from communicating. According to the New York Times, occupation forces also seized millions of dollars worth of cash and property belonging to 350 families as a response to the peaceful civil disobedience, but the residents remained defiant then, and still today.