Update situation in Bethlehem with the Israeli invasion

                   Sat, 20 Oct 2001 17:01:08 +0200
                   "Sandra Olewine"

Dear Friends,

I returned home this afternoon to pack a bag and move to the relative
safety of the Lutheran Church in Bethlehem. As I was waiting for a
friend to pick me up and drive me there, people came running down the
street across from me, screaming and waving their arms.  My friend
pulled up at that time and he told me the tanks had moved up to
Bethlehem University.  After loading the car, we turned around to take a

back way to the church.  Within one block, we meet another group of
people running towards us (around 50 or so). When we asked what was
happening, they reported a tank had just appeared at the Cinema (the
area just at the beginning of the market and one block from my house.)

It seems that Israeli forces are re-occupying the whole area of
Bethlehem, as reports are the tanks have moved through the center of
Beit Jala now also and Israeli snipers are placed on many of the tallest


The Palestinian ambulances are gathered in Madbassah Square by the
church and most of the Palestinian security and police are now in the
very center of the city.  One person has just in the last moments been
shot in the square.

One has to ask what the goal of this extreme action is.  Is it to bring
down the Palestinian Authority?  Who do the Israelis think they're going

to get in place of the PA?

Re-occupation of Palestinian city centers can not bring peace to either
people.  This is an action which demands the urgent intervention of the
International community.  Please, for the sake of all the peoples in
this land, act now!



Rev. Sandra Olewine
United Methodist Liaison - Jerusalem