His Beatitude Michel Sabbah, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, visited this afternoon the city of Beit Jala, where he was received in our Seminary there by a very big delegation of the people, such as the mayor, members of the Palestinian National Council, parishioners, and many journalists.. Dear friends, His Beatitude Michel Sabbah, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, visited this afternoon the city of Beit Jala, where he was received in our Seminary there by a very big delegation of the people, such as the mayor, members of the Palestinian National Council, parishioners, and many journalists.. He heard a full explanation about what is happening in their city. After the meeting we moved with the delegation and visited more that ten damaged houses by the Israeli nocturne attacks on the city from the nearby Settlement of Gilo.. We were astonished and impressed that most of the missiles fall in the sleeping rooms civilians and damaged parts of these houses.. Thanks God that there was not any human casualties, there was three injuries reported only.. because people used to flee the houses during the attacks or sleep in hidden parts of their houses, because most of the houses in our country don’t have any kind of under ground shelters… We noticed that the people are scared especially children.. the hate the night, because during darkness they are afraid to be attacked. But, Nevertheless, we noticed that these people are very proud and determinate, especially, they have a great feeling of solidarity between all the inhabitants, and they really feel like one family… It is also very interesting to notice also, that a theatre was also hit by a missile in this area, when we entered we saw more that fifty children rehearsing for artistic activities which will be performed for all the children of the zoon and in many schools in order to entertain the scared children of this area, and the trainer told us “that they wanted to destroy our theatre but we will not stop and let them destroy the spirits of our Children… They destroy and we will continue to build..” This was great for me, I felt that this people will not die but want to live… but in freedom like all the other peoples of the world… After this visit to Beit Jala, we moved to the nearby refugee camp AIDA (which means RETURN) which is very closed to both the tomb of Rachel from one side, and the settlement of Gilo from the other side… Here we visited some damaged houses, a very big stone factory which was attacked by five huge missiles launched by Helicopter-gun-fire-jet…But the most emotional moment was when we arrived to the house of one of the martyrs, a 13 years old boy who was killed by a life bullet on his head during confrontations with the soldiers around the Tomp of Rachel… The Patriarch presented the condolence to the family, father and mother and grandmother and he said a consolation words and hoped that the blood of this boy and all the martyrs will not go in vain but will be the grain of the future independence and freedom for the Palestinian people.. and in this house he spoke with all the journalists who accompanied us during the entire visit, most of them local TV station who broadcasted a full report about the visit during the evening… After this two hours round, the Patriarch visited some religious houses, such as the Franciscan sisters of Mary who are in the midst of AIDA refugee camp. He visited Cremisan Salesian Convent. then we returned to the Seminary in Beit Jala where he met with our Seminarians who live since more than ten days on the tonality of the shootings almost each night, they are scared but more than that, their families are worried and storm them with phone call each day, because two third are from Jordan.. Fr. Maroun the Rector of the Seminary accompanied the Patriarch in this round with some of the seminarians, also Fr. Ibrahim Ayyad, who is 91 years old, and a very famous figure in the Palestinian arena, was with us all the time. After all, I still wondering and asking myself, why all this is happening? When all this will stop? Why these people don’t have the right to be protected or to live a normal life in freedom? Why they have to pay this heavy price each day? Will they forget and forgive? What kind of dreams they dream our children each night if they can even sleep?…. and many other questions in my mind…!! If you can help us to give a definitive answer to all these questions, please, do some thing soon…!!!
Patriarch Visit Beit Jala