Three Palestinian Christians were shot dead by snipers in front of the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem on Sunday. The victims were two boys, Mousa George Abu Eid, 19, Johonny Thaljieh 16, and a young woman, Rania Elias Kharoufeh, 22, who had gone out to buy milk. On Saturday, the Israeli army began bombing Beit Jala, Bethlehem and Beit Sahour. Tanks occupied Aida refugee camp and destroyed all the cars parked on the way. A tank and several Israeli snipers took over the Inter Continental Hotel Building, the Paradise hotel building and also arrested the owner of Bethlehem Hotel who was alone in his hotel. During the attack, one woman and two men lost their lives. Dozens more are reported injured. The Israeli news reported last night: "The heavy shelling continues from different sides of Beit Jala, Bethlehem and Beit Sahour in retaliation against armed Palestinians." Palestinian eyewitness Marina Barham said: "The three who were killed today and the little girl who was killed in Jenin coming out of her school were not armed. People are sitting at home scared for their lives and the lives of their families and children." Fr. Raed Abusahlia from the Latin Patriarchate said: "We deplore all acts of violence and 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."
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