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Friday, March 24, 2017
Israeli soldiers use children as human shields in church building
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¬†Report sent from the Evangelical Lutheran church in Jerusalem This morning, Tuesday August 27, at around midnight, Israeli military tanks heavily shelled the Bethlehem area, Bethlehem, Beit Jala and Beit Sahour. The Israeli army supported by helicopters, tanks and bulldozers entered the town of Belt Jala at around 1.00am, and took control of several homes and buildings. Around 1.30am the army entered our church premises, consisting of a church building (The Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Reformation), an orphanage (Evangelical Lutheran Home) the home of fifty children, and an inter-religious centre and guesthouse (the AbrahamŪs Herberge). Soldiers took positions on the roof of one of the church buildings, with tanks stationed immediately outside the entrance to the church premises. The fifty youngsters aged 4 to eighteen, are being kept isolated in the home together with some of their teachers. As a curfew has been imposed on the town, neither the pastor nor the staff of the Home can reach the premises. We are to this moment trying to find ways to get food and other necessities to the children. We want to make clear that no shooting has taken place, neither yesterday nor in the past, from our church buildings in Belt Jala. We are now receiving reports that the Israeli army is shooting from the position on top of our buildings, injuring and killing people in the town, which of course endangers the lives of our children. We denounce in the strongest possible terms the Israeli occupation of our buildings and demand that the army immediately withdraw from our church premises as well as from Beit Jala. Jerusalem. 28 August 2001 1pm Bishop Munib A. Younan The Lutheran Bishop in Jerusalem
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