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

Beit Sahour Municipality

On the morning of October 26, 2001, at 10:00am, an international solidarity group arrived from Jerusalem to tour the Bethlehem area and to speak with residents and officials in an attempt to gain an insight into the suffering and terror we have been subjected to over the past week.

Press release October 27,2001

 Beit Sahour Municipality

 On the morning of October 26, 2001, at 10:00am, an international solidarity group arrived from Jerusalem to tour the Bethlehem area and to speak with residents and officials in an attempt to gain an insight into the suffering and terror we have been subjected to over the past week.

The group comprized of representatives from the European Union, and Consuls from the following countries: Belgium, Britain, Finland, France, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Sweden. The Governor of Bethlehem, Mr. Mohammad Al Madani, along with the Mayors of Bethlehem, Beit Sahour, Beit Jala, and other representatives from Bethlehem District, escorted the group. Together, they inspected the results of the Israeli occupation army’s incursion into the area first hand.

 First, the group visited the Vatican sponsored University of Bethlehem, and saw for themselves the devastation. Every building in the complex, bar the library, has suffered some level of damage. Then they were then taken to both Al Azza and Aydah refugee camps. This was particularly harrowing as there has been extensive destruction in the camps. People who already existed in poverty with little hope now have absolutely nothing; homes have been wantonly destroyed and damaged both from persistent shelling and shooting and by bulldozers sent in by the army with the sole aim of destroying private property. In addition, commercial and public buildings such as the Paradise hotel, the Qaraha building, and the Holy Family Hospital have also suffered considerable structural damage.

 In addition to the damage and destruction to private and commercial property, the Israeli occupation army has inflicted considerable damage to the infrastructure systems. Much of the infrastructure in place is very new, and was financed by many governments and institutions around the world, through the Bethlehem 2000 project. Not only do tank tracks rip up the tarmac of the road and crush concrete pavements, the soldiers driving the tanks also purposely rammed cars and ran over street and traffic lights.

Some of the visitors expressed a deep feeling of anger, shock and shame of what they had just observed. One strongly condemned the incursions and the results, emphasizing that he felt it a disgrace that Israeli brutality against Palestinian civilians and their property, is allowed to continue. He said, “Seeing with one’s own eyes is the greatest proof of the reality on the ground in the Palestinian territories.”

At the end of the tour, Palestinian demands were distributed to the group asking for :

 n         The immediate and unconditional withdrawal from the Palestinian reoccupied territories.

n         To stop all acts of assassination against our civilians.

n         To provide an international protection force for our civilians.

n         To establish an investigation committee to examine the acts of violence and  brutality against our citizens.

Fifteen minutes following their departure, the shooting resumed, and 2 tanks retook their previous positions near the Nativity Church

In total, over the last 8 days, 31 residents of the Bethlehem area have been killed, the majority of whom were innocent civilians. In addition, there are over 150 casualties, some in a serious condition, and again, almost entirely made up of civilians.

 

 

 

2016-10-24T07:35:32+00:00 October 29th, 2001|Categories: News|