In a statement after signing the “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014”, US president Obama called again for the closing of Guantanamo “impeded” by the Congress. A promise from 2008 not accomplished.

The United Nations agency assisting Palestinian refugees today condemned Israel’s latest demolitions in the West Bank which have displaced 68 people, including 32 children, in the depths of winter, saying it is violating international law and calling on it to abide by its obligations, the UN news services informs.

Iraqi officials say bombings targeting Christians in southern Baghdad have killed at least 38 people on Christmas day. Pope Francis appealed on Thursday for Christians who suffer violence, discrimination and all way of injustice because of their faithfulness to Christ and His Gospel.

In his first Christmas Message Urbi et Orbi from the Vatican Pope Francis made an appeal for peace, calling believers and non believers to be united in this purpose. “All united, either by prayer or by desire. But all of us, for peace,” he said.

Palestinian Christians who want to celebrate Christmas in Bethlehem face a lot of problems to do it mainly because of Israeli military checkpoints and the security barrier that separate Bethlehem from Jerusalem.

In his Christmas message, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Fouad Twal, has called on the faithful not to forget Syria, warned against Israeli settlement building, and revealed that Pope Francis will be visiting Israel, Palestine and Jordan next May.