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Franciscan Friary
St. Francis Str. 1
Jerusalem



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BETHLEHEM UPDATE - 15.04.2002

The situation of the Sanctuary, of the Franciscan Friars and of the Franciscan Nuns is indeed very serious: the Israeli army is still blocking the water supply and electricity. The army further block all food supplies. During the past night - as on all other nights - the religious heard loud explosions and shots coming from the outside. The Franciscan friars and nuns - as they have been doing every day during this unprecedented crises - gathered in prayers, various times during the day, invoke Divine Grace to keep their faithfulness to the mission entrusted to them at the site of the Birth of the Saviour of the world.

CLARIFICATION
With regards to some information spread by some news agencies we wish to bring to the attention the fact that: the Religious had asked the army to permit the International Red Cross to deliver some medicines for a friar who urgently needed them indicating that the medicines were already available in a Bethlehem clinic. The army itself got the medicines and after some hours delivered them at the Friary. The Red Cross is still, in fact, not allowed to reach the Nativity Friary.

PROSPECTIVES
There are no attendible information regarding the prospective of a solution for the unbearable situation at the Sanctuary and of the consecrated persons.

RENEWED APPEAL BY THE RELIGIOUS
The spokesman of the Custody of the Holy Land, Fr. David Jaeger launches this appeal: "We renew once again our appeal to the Parties to come quickly to a much aspired pacific and honourable solution, as is also required by the International Agreement which each party had concluded with the Holy See, the Supreme Authority of the Catholic Church.

As till today the responsibility for not succeeding in the discussions is attributed from one to the other, we launch this urgent challenge: you should be the party who will be the first to accept a solution which the other party will not be objectively capable of legitimately refuse!

All know of at least one possible solution: the internationally guaranteed transfer of the armed men to Gaza. This solution has also been sustained yesterday by the editorial of the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz.

Today we repeat to both parties, we renew our appeal: BE MAGNANIMOUS, BE GENEROUS, BE ALSO FARSIGHTED!

For the time which remains - and we sincerely hope to be short - for the solution of this crises, we appeal again to the Israeli Army: "HAVE MERCY! BE MERCIFUL! GIVE US BACK WATER AND ELECTRICITY! ALLOW US TO NOURISH OURSELVES!!"

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Created / Updated Monday, April 15, 2002 at 23:09:04 by John Abela ofm
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