We the people of Bethlehem the place where Jesus was born are leading very serious and tragic situation as the other parts of Palestine. Injustice has been happening to us since the Israeli invasion of our cities , villages and camps. More than 300 tanks stormed the streets of Bethlehem this holy and peaceful city. Helicopters and tanks destroyed the buildings, burning and running over the cars and anything on their way. There are numbers of martyrs in Bethlehem who need to be buried
We the people of Bethlehem the place where Jesus was born are leading very serious and tragic situation as the other parts of Palestine. Injustice has been happening to us since the Israeli invasion of our cities , villages and camps. More than 300 tanks stormed the streets of Bethlehem this holy and peaceful city. Helicopters and tanks destroyed the buildings, burning and running over the cars and anything on their way. There are numbers of martyrs in Bethlehem who need to be buried. Not to mention the serious cases of injuries who are unable to reach the hospitals, since the ambulances are forbidden to do their duties. We can’t bury our dead. Our neighbor died and he is an old man. His family waited for a permission to bury him. Since we are under curfew. Besides pregnant women deliver at home people with serious sickness are unable to reach the hospitals. Two days ago one of my students lost his father who was shot dead because he dared to stand outside in front of his children the youngest is two years old. They were shocked to see their father full of blood. The soldiers enter the houses arresting men, taking them to places god only knows where.
For more than eighteen days now we have been imprisoned inside our own houses struggling to survive without food, electricity, water or even medicine. As a mother of four children, I can easily express the feelings of the Palestinian child under such difficult circumstances, for instance my daughter Natalie who is only six years old is constantly having nightmares, she is shouting at night time ‘the soldiers are shooting at me, there is blood all over the place. She’s bed wetting also. During the day she follows me everywhere, she keeps asking the same question, mama is it safe to sit here, is it better under the table. I have to accompany her even when she goes to the toilet. When the bombing starts, she starts screaming hysterically. I try my best to calm her down but in vain, since we live near the nativity church the sound of bombing and shooting is so loud and we receive bullets.
Our neighbors received bullets and their son was injured. The Israeli tanks stay right behind our doors. We are unable to sleep and when the night comes the wariness and depression start. I try my best not to make my children panic but in vain, since I myself is afraid. We all gather in one room, we read the bible and pray. God gives us strength to go on under such disastrous conditions. We also pray to god to give us peace and to help those in need of help. As a mother I try to cheer them up and entertain them by reading them some bedtime stories but the darkness and the sounds of bombs are stronger than any kind of entertainment. We share what is left of food with our neighbors. And I’m not sure tomorrow we’ll be able to survive. Even when they open for two hours or something you can’t find anything, the shelves are empty and there is nothing to buy. If we want to buy bread we have to stand in long lines waiting for our turn to come and then return with nothing.
Snipers are taking positions on top of the high buildings which makes it dangerous to move from one place to another so we prefer to stay indoors than shot dead.
There are more than 300 people inside the nativity church which is under siege for more than 18 days now. Among them are families with their children, priests, nuns and some security guards. They are living inside this sacred place under very drastic conditions. Since we live right near the nativity church we can hear clearly the daily and night attacks on the holiest part of the world they keep bombing, shooting, and burning parts of the church talking to them through the loud speakers to surrender. There are cases of serious injuries inside the church. The priests and nuns barely shared what they have of food and today they have none, they are starving to death. Even Pope John Paul two couldn’t help them. A security guard was trying to put off the fire inside the convent when a sniper shot him dead adding to the number of those martyrs dead inside the church. If they invade the church massacres are expected to happen. We are praying for a miracle to help those inside the church .we believe in god. We ask the world community and Christians all over the world to intervene to stop the blood shed in this sacred land. Jesus is recrucified, I can see him in pain on the cross. I tell them we are not terrorists, we are only people who want to live in peace .we want to be free as others. Free to go and move from one place to another without checkpoints and closure, without being exposed to gunshots. We are only asking for our rights to live safe and secure .our children need to have a childhood. Their right to play, learn and enjoy life as all the children of the world. Our children are deprived from the right to be safe, the right of dignity, the right to learn, the right to play, the right to have a childhood full of sweet dreams instead of nightmares .no medicine, no food, no life, no education, nothing. This is our life here under the siege with only the sounds of gunshots, missiles, tanks and blood everyday. We want all this to stop!! We want only peace!! And a better future for us and our children. Is that too much to ask? To smell fresh air instead of polluted air.???!??!!!!
Judith Musleh. Bethlehem