TEL AVIV, Oct 31, 01 (FIDES/ -- Several students from
a Catholic school in the Holy Land were injured, and three
hospitalized, when they were assaulted and beaten by Jewish
teenagers, the Fides news service has reported. Israeli officials
reportedly declined to press charges against the assailants.

Students from the Terra Santa School in the old town of Jaffa,
adjacent to Tel Aviv, were on a field trip last week when their bus
stopped at a McDonald's restaurant in Beersheba for a lunch break.
Soon several buses of students from a Jewish school arrived, and--
upon hearing the younger Christian children speaking in Arabic--
provoked a fight that soon escalated to include the use of sticks,
stones, and knives.

Father Arturo Vasaturo, OFM, the pastor of the parish where the
Terra Santa School is located, protested that the adults supervising
the Jewish teenagers did not intervene to stop the beating, and
Israeli police who arrived to break up the melee refused to help the
victims identify their attackers.