Beit Sahour is still under curfew and has been for 11 days in a row now; yesterday the curfew was lifted for 3 hours. Some basic goods have been delivered into the town through Zaatera and though other villages located

April 12, 2002

Beit Sahour Municipality

Beit Sahour is still under curfew and has been for 11 days in a row now; yesterday the curfew was lifted for 3 hours. Some basic goods have been delivered into the town through Zaatera and though other villages located near Beit Sahour. The shops were not as full as the last time, much of the food had already been stripped from the shelves, but many citizens of Beit Sahour have already spent what little money they had. Many families did not even leave their homes to shop because of their financial crisis, especially those who work as laborers (a high percentage of men in Beit Sahour work in construction). The families who earned money from selling handicraft products, such as olive wood and mother of pearl, are also in a very desperate situation as they too have had no income for many, many months.

The Nativity church is still surrounded by Israeli tanks and troops have taken over homes overlooking the Nativity church and snipers are on the roofs. For the last two nights there has been shelling towards the Nativity Church. The Israeli solders are using possible means to terrorize those inside the church. They are throwing percussion grenades and people inside are scared. Despite attempts no medical or food aid has been allowed in to the church to alleviate some of the suffering of the 236 men, women and children inside the church. They have been there for 11 days now. One body of a martyr is still inside the church and there are injured who desperately need medical assistance. The situation is inhuman and beyond imagination.

Beit Sahour has received 3 trucks of foodstuffs, which was delivered by our friends and supporters from the 1948 citizens; Moslems, Christians and Jews came in solidarity to their brothers in Beit Sahour. They have tried to bring food and medical supplies into the Nativity Church but they were not allowed to enter Bethlehem. The Israeli forces are preventing any source of help reaching those inside the church.

This morning 4 Israeli tanks entered Beit Sahour and soldiers are in our streets. We are terrified of what they planning to do in Beit Sahour; we fear more destruction and terror against civilians. The tanks are stationed just few meters from my house. I just heard form making some phone calls with friends inside the town, that the Israeli soldiers are vandalizing many houses inside Beit Sahour.

To appease critics of the invasion, Israel withdraws some of its forces from a few of the reoccupied Palestinians cities, but the fact is they have reoccupied others, including Hebron and Bir Zeit. Many students were stranded at the University since the invasion started and so many families are very worried and anxious about their children, they fear they will be arrested and beaten the Israeli forces.

How many more days is this outrage going to go on for? How many more innocent children, men and women must die, and how many more houses have to be demolished until the world takes serious actions against the Israeli government? How much more destruction and terror do you need to witness before real action is taken against Israel and the demand to withdraw for the Israelis to get out of our cities, towns and refugee camps is heeded? Sharon is not listening; he doesn’t give a damn about what America, Europe or any country says. But the United States and Europe and the UN can make demands on Israel, if they were firmer in their convictions. Israel could be forced to stop massacring Palestinians but the International community seems unwilling to take steps that would help. Sanctions are imposed on any other country but not Israel. Who gave Bush the power over our lives? Who gave Bush the right to determine our fate? Who gave Bush the authority to allow us to be massacred?

Zinni has been in Jerusalem, watching what is happening, but did not even think of visiting the Nativity Church or trying to go to Jenin to witness the real facts of the massacres committed by the Israeli soldiers against our civilians.

I would like to voice our great hope in all those who have gone out on their streets and demonstrated against the Israeli invasion and the brutality against us. You have seen our plight and helped raise the conscience of the world. I have never witnessed such solidarity for the Palestinians who have been suffering for so long now.

Now, more than ever, we are in urgent need of your continued solidarity and support to help us in ending this terrorizing reality, which our people are suffering. The impact this whole deadly conflict will have on our lives now and in the future is tremendous.

We can’t believe that after what the whole world has seen, no-one is taking a stand in sending monitors to our cities to record the killing and the destruction of property the Israeli forces have committed against us. Please, stop Sharon killing us all.

Suzan Sahori
Public Relation Officer at the
Beit Sahour Municipality
Sending email from home at
Beit Sahour