Israel Shells Church of Nativity

22 October 2001
Palestine Media Center – PMC

In an exclusive interview with the Mayor of Bethlehem City, Mr. Hanna Nasser
asserted that Israeli allegations of Palestinians firing from Churches in
Bethlehem to invite Israeli fire are false and objectionable. Mr. Nasser
confirmed to the Palestine Media Center (PMC), “While Bethlehem residents
were praying during the Sunday mass, Israeli occupation soldiers fired at
the Church of Nativity. I visited the Church and saw the machinegun bullets
scattered throughout the Church”.

The Bethlehem Mayor asserted that Israeli machinegun fire hit the Church of
Nativity and that it came from any one of the numerous tanks now stationed
on Bethlehem’s seven hills overlooking the holy site. He stated, “Their
allegation that it was Palestinian fire is unquestionably false.

Furthermore, the only party that controls the hills overlooking Manger
Square and the Church are the occupying Israeli tanks”.

“We condemn this heinous act in the strongest terms and appeal to the
international community to save Bethlehem from the unabated Israeli
aggression. We have written the Vatican and numerous governments appealing
to them to force Israel to withdraw from Bethlehem”, Mr. Nasser affirmed,
concluding, “The invading Israeli troops have acted like the Tatars of
earlier times. They invaded, burned homes, killed innocent civilians and
terrorized the residents. So far, Israeli snipers, who are positioned on
every high rooftop in the city, have murdered 15 civilians and injured at
least 120 others. Bethlehem residents are terrorized to leave their homes.
It is up to the international community to put an end to this campaign of