On Friday, the 31 Franciscans trapped in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, received their first food rations since the siege began on 2 April. Food supplies reportedly ran out on 19 April. The Vatican news agency Fides learnt that on 26 April the army delivered seven cucumbers, seven potatoes, seven onions, three tomatoes, two small cans of meat, two small cans of tuna fish, a kilogramme of pasta, a kilogramme of rice, two cans of peas and two small packets of biscuits. The Franciscans offered to pay for the food. The Israeli Supreme Court rejected a request from the monks for the restoration of their power, telephone and water supplies. Fr David Jaeger, Holy Land Custody spokesman, told Fides: "What we need now is an act of generosity on the part of the leaders on both sides, to end this Calvary of Bethlehem which has lasted for too long."
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