Bethlehem University Appeals for Protection
                           October 26, 2001
 After four long nights of heavy Israeli bombardment,
 we at Bethlehem University are pleading for international
 intervention to help spare our Vatican-sponsored
 Palestinian university from further shelling of our
The many precautionary attempts which we have taken
 to try to protect the University from the heavy
 exchange of gunfire around the University, including daily
 appeals to local, national, consular and ecclesiastical
 authorities, as well as strengthening security measures and flying
 the Vatican flag, have, unfortunately, not produced  results.

 Over the past four days every building on campus has
 been hit by gunfire, with evidence of at least 86
 tank grenades and hundreds of bullets found in the
 Around 130 windows have been broken, including 40 in
 the new soon-to-be-completed Academic Building.  The
 residence of the De La Salle Christian Brothers
 (among whom are eight Americans, three British and one
 Palestinian) has been pummeled by at least 110
 bullets over the past two days, including several in or near
 bedrooms and the chapel of the Brothers.  Serious
 damage has been incurred in the Midwifery Laboratory, to
 water storage tanks and water pipes, to various parts of
 historic Bethlehem Hall, to stonework on several buildings
 around campus and in the new Academic Building.  With the
 destruction of the wires for the Internet the University lost
 a primary means of communication.  Considering the
 heavy bombardment to which we have been subjected,
 we are extremely fortunate that no one at the
 University has been killed or injured although there have been
 casualties  in families of employees.
 We are deeply concerned that each additional day
 Israeli tanks and soldiers remain in Bethlehem (and otherPalestinian areas), determined and at times indiscriminate resistance to the occupation will continue and
 thousands of lives of innocent people will be endangered.  We are
 also concerned that attacks on Christian institutions and
 holy sites such as Bethlehem University, Holy Family
 Hospital, the Children's Crèche, St. Catherine's Nativity
 Church and on other important sites such as Husseini
 Hospital, the Paradise Hotel, and the Hodali Building will
 also continue and wreak incalculable damage, physical and
 psychological, to the city of Christ's birth.
 We at Bethlehem University appeal to you in the
 strongest possible terms to do whatever you can to
 help put an end to this tragic situation.  Pressuring
 Israel to withdraw immediately its military from Bethlehem and
 other Palestinian cities would offer, at least for
 the moment, relief to those of us caught in the
 increasingly dangerous crossfire of Israeli occupation and
 Palestinian resistance.
 Brother Vincent Malham, FSC
 President-Vice Chancellor