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      US Funds 300 Disney Movie Tickets for Shechem Youth

      The United States is handing out 300 free tickets for Shechem youth in an effort “to give them greater exposure to American culture.”
      By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
      First Publish: 7/28/2009, 5:55 PM / Last Update: 7/28/2009, 8:11 PM

      Israel News photo: Walt Disney

      A private non-governmental organization (NGO) called 'Amideast' is using American funds to hand out 300 free tickets to youth in Shechem who will be able to see a Disney film with themes relating to the environment and friendship.

      Assistant Country Director at Amideast, Maha Hasan explained, “This will be the first experience for kids to be exposed [sic] to American-style cinema, which will give them greater exposure to American culture and the wider world.” The tickets were given to youth in the American-funded English Access Micro-Scholarship and Camp Discovery programs.

      U.S. State Department programs for more than two decades have poured hundreds of millions of dollars into Arab areas of Judea, Samaria and Gaza in an attempt to win their cooperation and trust.

      The movie theatre in Shechem, known as Nablus to Arabs, was recently re-opened after having been shut down during the period of the Great Terror War, also known as the Second Intifada, which began in September 2000.

      The re-opening of the cinema is part of a rejuvenation of the local economy, as armed Palestinian Authority forces patrol the streets to enforce law and order. The forces do not operate in the late night and early morning hours, when the IDF carries out counterterrorist operations that the PA forces are not ready to handle.

      However, three armed and masked men Monday morning torched the main stage at a shopping festival. The Bethlehem-based Ma'an news agency blamed IDF soldiers, who “were invading the city,” with preventing the PA forces from operating as needed to foil such incidents.

      Defense Minister Ehud Barak recently announced that the PA forces will now be able to operate 24 hours a day.