“Let us work together to replace despair with HOPE, fear with human SECURITY and humiliation with DIGNITY”

The Bloodiest Week in the Holy Land

As more Palestinian and Israeli blood waters this precious land, the international community continues their silence while the Israeli forces totally destroy the West Bank and Gaza killing as many innocent people as possible. More than 1400 people have died in the last 18 months because peace does not exist in the land of Christ’s Birth. Fifty Palestinians were killed in just 24 hours, it’s a massacre, and the worst week (March 9, 2002) we have ever experienced. The Israeli army began attacking the refugee camps and causing more than 150 people to die within approximately one week while denying entry to ambulances to help people that might be saved.

As more Palestinian and Israeli blood waters this precious land, the international community continues their silence while the Israeli forces totally destroy the West Bank and Gaza killing as many innocent people as possible. More than 1400 people have died in the last 18 months because peace does not exist in the land of Christ’s Birth. Fifty Palestinians were killed in just 24 hours, it’s a massacre, and the worst week (March 9, 2002) we have ever experienced. The Israeli army began attacking the refugee camps and causing more than 150 people to die within approximately one week while denying entry to ambulances to help people that might be saved.


The refugees are already victims of 1948 and it’s a disaster to see them die so brutality as if human life has no value. It’s a shame to be abused, traumatized and invaded when they are already the poorest of the poor. Fr. Majdi Siryani, the new Director of the Latin Patriarchate Schools of Jerusalem and legal advisor for the Patriarchate seemed frustrated at the Israelis as the tanks rolled in front of his office in Beit Jala and as he heard nightly shooting from his convent in Beit Sahour. “They are out of their minds…they are not complying with international laws, humanitarian laws, they are no complying with any laws…they are on top of the world, better than most people… they are above the law,” he told me as I called to find out if the bombing in his area had stopped. Mindful and thoughtful people across the world today should contact their government officials to help stop this bloodshed and cycle of violence that has its roots in the military occupation of the Palestinian people and the confiscation of Palestinian land.


We thought we could live with the violence and the bloodshed by putting our life in God’s hands but this policy of getting the terrorists is getting so many people dead. The fear is so intense sometimes it just keeps me home. I’m so scared to leave my house, if I drive the van registered under the Palestinian Authority holding a white plate, the Israeli settlers might attack in revenge. If I drive the black car registered inside Israel holding a yellow plate, the Palestinian gunmen might shoot at random. Forgiveness and reconciliation is not in anyone’s book. Psalm 23 somehow takes a deeper meaning in my life as I drive down the Biblical valley of Judea to take the children to school daily: “The Lord is my Shepherd…though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” But, then again, it is faith that gets you killed in this country. A young boy was crossing the military checkpoint with his school bag and out of fear or faith cried out: “God is great” in Arabic, the soldiers shot him to death thinking he might be a suicide bomber only to find books when they opened his backpack.


As my children saw the Israeli settler holding a gun to the Palestinian taxi driver’s head probably telling him never to use that road again, they asked: “Mom, what gives them more rights to use the roads, why are the roads just for them?” This simple question open’s a Pandora’s box of the perplexing democracy of Israel. And I must tell you it is not the same democracy that my Greek culture contributed to humanity. The only thing I understand living in the Holy Land as a witness for Christ is that you can not have peace and occupation at the same time.


Sharon’s policy of political assassinations or as he calls them “target killings” blew five children to so many pieces on Monday in Ramallah that their bodies could not be appropriately identified. The first missile hit the mother and her three children and the second missile hit a sixteen year old picking up his small preschool cousin from school. Five children buried in one funeral. The Israeli government declared that it would continue the massive military assault on the Palestinian people as if 54 years of denying them a homeland has not been enough assault and humiliation. On the Palestinian side, especially the militant groups will continue the suicide bombings that tragically harm innocent civilians as a response to the military invasions. We are stuck with these insane people. The cycle of violence has reached its climax. Mr. Maher Al Atrash, managing the Latin Patriarchate Schools from Beit Jala, informed me that all Bethlehem area schools are closed today until further notice because of the great danger in the streets: “This is the mentality of Sharon…50 people dead in 24 hours, it’s never happened…it’s a real war…I have been experiencing the Intifada for 18 months…these past few days has been the most bloodshed…we are now entering a real war.”


Please help stop this war on the Palestinian people by contacting your government officials. As a concerned human being, show outrage that medical personnel like Dr. Khalil Suleiman would be shot and killed by Israeli tank fire as he tried to enter Jenin camp this week with his ambulance to help the wounded following a massive Israeli invasion and attack. “Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God. Defend me from them that rise up against me. Deliver me from the workers of iniquity and save me from bloody men (Psalm 59)

 


 

2016-10-24T07:35:39+00:00 October 29th, 2001|Categories: News|