Beit Sahour is still under Israeli imposed curfew for the sixth day in a row. Streets are deserted except for Israeli tanks and bulldozers. It is Sunday morning. No one in Beit Sahour, Bethlehem, or Beit Jala can go to Church.

Beit Sahour is still under Israeli imposed curfew for the sixth day in a row.  Streets are deserted except for Israeli tanks and bulldozers.   It is Sunday morning. No one in Beit Sahour, Bethlehem, or Beit Jala can go to Church. One of our basic human rights, the right to freedom of worship, is summarily abrogated.  It was announced on T.V. last night that all citizens of the Bethlehem district must join together after morning mass and services in our local churches in a peaceful march to the Church of the Nativity.  Early this morning Israeli jeeps went through the town and announced that curfew is still imposed as strongly as ever and who ever goes out to the streets will be shot.

We, ourselves, are very disappointed in the Government of the United States; the government feels no urgency in sending Colin Powell immediately to stop this ongoing invasion into our cities and refugee camps.  By next Friday, the expected date of his arrival, Israel will accomplish as much destruction as it can accomplish and will have enough time to finish its mission and kill as many innocent Palestinians. We did not hear words of condemnation from President Bush or hear him denounce the many killings of innocent children, women and men.

This is direct disregard of the UN resolution 1402,1403 that calls for an immediate cease-fire and for a withdrawal of the Israeli forces without delay from the PNA areas.  Bush hopes that Sharon will listen to his appeal for immediate withdrawal because he is a good friend and good friends must take into consideration others friends advise.  Well let us hope that President Bush really has a friend who will listen to him and heed his words.  Sharon repeats that he is very careful and he is not targeting civilians, only armed Palestinians, but I believe that he needs well-focused glasses for his soldiers so they can distinguish between armed and civilian Palestinians.

Where is the real justice to be found in all of this? Please come and see what is really happening on the ground in Palestine.  The Israeli Government believes that this massive operation of terrorism will get rid of all terror activists, but who really created the so-called Palestinian terrorists. The Israeli illegal occupation is the real source of terrorism. The Israelis subject Palestinians every day to this continuing strangling siege. Constant humiliation, the destruction of our homes, the dismantling of the infrastructure of our young state, and the indiscriminate killing of innocent people are the stock and trade of this Israeli Government with scant regard for human rights. You can only imagine what it is like for us to live in such conditions. Just to think that for the past 18 months these cages, described as Palestinian cities, have been the prisons in which lives of grief and suffering and isolation have been lived out!

What I describe bears no comparison to the life of the refugees in their Camps, now under persistent attack by the Israeli military.  Since 1948 our refugees are living the life of a dog hoping that some day we will regain our freedom that will enable them to live a life with dignity.   There is not a dry eye in the homes of Palestine at this time.  You are often asking the question – what really can be the reason that pushes a young man or women to blow themselves up ending their own lives as well as many others?  A beautiful girl from Dehasheh camp who was only 17 years of age has committed such an act in Jerusalem killing herself and two other Israeli people.  Did you know that she lives in a refugee camp, has a handicapped brother that was shot during the first intifada, and her father was shot in this intifada.  She has felt no hope for the future of her life. It is easy to die when you feel there is nothing to live for.

How much more do you need to hear? We, the Palestinian people, only want to have our freedom like all free human beings in the world.  We are a peaceful people who seek life with dignity. Please do not let those who are trying to destroy our image paint for you a false picture. We beseech you, our friends, who believe we deserve to live the ordinary life of any person in the free world, to make a stand now. Support us as we seek an immediate cease-fire and work for a just and real peace. Give us immediate negotiations and a stop to this escalating violence in our land.

Suzan Sahori