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Franciscan Friary
St. Francis Str. 1
Jerusalem



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BETHLEHEM UNDER SIEGE - CHRONICLE 10.04.2002

The past night was disturbed by shots and the hovering of the Israeli helicopters around the complex of the Nativity. The noise of the armoured tanks and the flares did not give any breath and rest to the religious community custodians of the Site where Jesus was born. To the stress for lack of rest, today is the definitive end of the foodstuffs which the franciscans have shared with all those inside the complex of the Nativity.

"The situation is getting unbearable by the hour - affirmed Fr. Ibrahim Faltas - we do not have any more water for drinking and cleaning, and we do not have electricity."

One can understand that in such situations living together of so many people becomes more difficult indeed.

The palestinian, wounded yesterday, was was medicated by the first aid kits available for the religious while this morning a wounded armenian monk was carried to Jerusalem by ambulance.

The preoccupation for the incolumity of the Friars, the four nuns and the other religious is aggravated by the Israeli declaration who do not see an end to the siege, but - as the Israeli Security Cabinet declared - it will go on until the surrender of the palestinians who have barricaded themselves inside the building. This morning the israeli soldiers have asked to speak with a representative of the palestinians. This fills us with hope that from this dialogue some peaceful settlement might arise to unlock this dramatic situation which goes on for thirteen days.

The Minister General of the Friars Minor, Fr. Giacomo Bini, makes his the invitation echoed by the Holy Father during this morning's audience. The Pope's words: "I now invite all to join me in prayers to ask peace from the Lord in the Holy Land. We ask the Virgin Mother to intercede so that the efforts being carried out by all will be successful in overcoming the tragic situation in which those so tried people live"

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Created / Updated Wednesday, April 10, 2002 at 15:56:00 by John Abela ofm
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