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Latin Patriarchate appeal for end to siege of Bethlehem

 (We received this message on Saturday) To our Brothers and Sisters around the world to help in a time of urgent need in the Holy Land. Following the targeted killings, there has been a dramatic intervention, within the last few hours, in the Autonomous Palestinian Territories by the Israeli Armed Forces. Tanks are everywhere; buildings have been sieged; some areas are under curfew and there Is extensive shooting. We are particularly concerned about Bethlehem, the place of our Savior's birth, with Beit Jala and Beit Sahour, Aida Refuges Camp, AI-Bireh, Ramallah, Jenin, Nablus and Gaza. The restrictions on movement preventing people going to work. attending school and even university, mean that charitable institutions, hospitals, etc. are placed under great strain to care for residents and patients. Children everywhere are being traumatized. At a time when Western leaders arc concerned with fighting terrorism it seems that Palestinian residents (both Moslem and Christian) are subjected to similar acts for which the world takes little notice. Whilst we deplore all acts of violence, we appeal to world church leaders and the international community to make urgent representation to the Israeli Government to bring this intolerable situation to an immediate end and begin the process of negotiations in order to work towards a peaceful and a just solution. Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem