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Bethlehem University Attacked in Israeli Incursion

News from Bethlehem

GUSH SHALOM - pob 3322, Tel-Aviv 61033 - http://www.gush-shalom.org/

It seems the Sharon government is in a hurry to cause as much destruction as possible before being stopped by effective international pressure. Just after we sent the Tul Karm message we received the following.


------ Forwarded message follows -------
From: vmalham@bethlehem.edu
Organization: Bethlehem University

Office of President/Vice Chancellor

PRESS RELEASE

Bethlehem University Attacked in Latest Israeli Incursion 9 March 2002

The IDF fired a wire-guided missile at newly-inaugurated Millennium Hall at about 9:00 last night (8 March). It punched a hole through the stone-clad reinforced concrete wall, blasting out windows and window frames on two floors, damaging Classrooms 302 and 402. The impact of the powerful blast spread to other parts of the building, as well as to the nearby Institute of Hotel Management and the Social and Cultural Center on campus. It is fortunate that no one was near enough to be injured or killed.

This missile attack, devastating in physical and psychological implications, is but one result of unprecedented brutal aggression on the Palestinian people in recent days. Statistics of casualties and damage continue to change, but at this writing seven deaths and over a hundred injuries have been reported in Bethlehem alone in the past two days. In addition, the entire city and surroundings has been traumatized and terrorized as never before by the ominous sounds of helicopters and drones and threats of gunship and tank attacks. Beit Jala, next to Bethlehem, is still under curfew with over 40 huge tanks surrounding the village preventing movement in and out of homes and on the streets. Deheisheh Camp, which has suffered extensive human loss and damage, is also under curfew.

As a demoralized and battered people braces itself for another night of trepidation and fear, the following questions continue to remain unanswered:

How long will illegal occupation and oppression of a people struggling for freedom and basic human rights be allowed to continue? When will the senseless sacrifice of innocent lives of both oppressed and oppressor come to an end? What can be done to mobilize the international community, whom many see as the only potential force capable of exerting legitimate influence, to assume greater moral responsibility in resolving the situation?

We at Bethlehem appeal to you, once again, to do whatever you can to put an end to this escalating tragic situation. We urge you, in whatever forum you deem effective, to: 1. Pressure Israel to withdraw its military immediately from all Palestinian territories. 2. Push for international intervention to help the two sides return to negotiation. 3. Insist that those responsible for inhumane attacks on innocent persons be accountable and brought to justice. 4. Pray for a just peace for the Holy Land.

Brother Vincent Malham, FSC President-Vice Chancellor


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