Many Christians heard the announcement by the Israeli Authority declaring that they will issue permits to allow us to attend the mass at the Holy Sepulchre Church in Jerusalem. As usual their words are just that, words, as they only issued permits to a very small number. Most of us were prevented yet again from reaching our Holiest city
Life in Beit Sahour
Christians living in the Bethlehem District have celebrated the Easter Festival, free from the Israeli curfew.
Many Christians heard the announcement by the Israeli Authority declaring that they will issue permits to allow us to attend the mass at the Holy Sepulchre Church in Jerusalem. As usual their words are just that, words, as they only issued permits to a very small number. Most of us were prevented yet again from reaching our Holiest city.
To be honest the Easter Holiday went well and the celebrations were quietly observed, in relative peace. People did not expect the situation to be this way because we used to expecting the worst, being under the strict curfews imposed by the illegal occupation army of Israel. Nevertheless, do not think that life is getting better; it is true that we have not suffered further, large-scale incursions or been subject to curfew, but the siege imposed for the past two and a half years is still a reality for us and we are struggling just to exist.
The economy has worsened and we really are near breaking point. Freedom of movement for us Palestinians is just a dream,. To try to get to Ramallah one takes a terrifying journey of about three hours, using the only road Israel allows us to use. There are many check points along the way and the fear of being stopped, harassed, arrested or beaten is a real threat.
Our citizens in Beit Sahour, along with all our Palestinians brothers and sisters living under illegal occupation, are continuing to suffer tremendously and many are facing extreme poverty. The world should not accept the life that is forced upon us.
Death, severe disruption and humiliation is faced daily, but there is not much talk about it because it has become part of our daily routine. To live under such harsh oppression while the world watches how the power of the United States ‘freed’ the Iraqi people from tyranny makes us very angry and frustrated. We are happy if our brothers in Iraq are able to live a life free from fear and danger, that is after all the desire of all people, however we are not afforded the same consideration. Israel is a friend and ally of America, politically and strategically, so we will continue to be abused, ignored and disregarded. America is proudly talking of the ‘road map’, a plan for peace, but at what price? Will there be fair and balanced negotiations? Will Israel be forced to make concessions as we have been for decades? Will there be any sincerity or true desire to see justice done? We shall see.