JERUSALEM, Oct 24, 01 ( - Christian leaders in
the Holy Land pronounced their satisfaction with the
results of their "Solidarity Convoy for Peace," which
traveled from Jerusalem to embattled Bethlehem.

Father Raed Abusahlia, the chancellor of the Latin-rite
Patriarchate of Jerusalem, told the Fides news agency that
the convoy "carried a message of peace to a place destroyed
by war." He also observed that there was no fighting during
the time that the Solidarity Convoy was in Bethlehem, but
shooting resumed as soon as they left.

About 2,000 people, and 200 cars, began the trip from
Jerusalem. They were joined by hundreds of others along the
way, so that an estimated 5,000 people participated in a
concluding prayer in Manger Square in Bethlehem.

The convoy was allowed to pass peacefully through Israeli
checkpoints on the road from Jerusalem to Bethlehem-- a
road that has been blocked for several months.

Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the apostolic nuncio in Israel,
told Fides that the event was "a pilgrimage of peace and
solidarity, to say that the path of dialogue and
international legitimacy must be taken in order to reach
peace: a gift of God and the fruit of the will of men."