From: Marina Barham (Beit Jala, Palestine) Friday 19 October 2001

        Dear Friends,

        I am sorry for not writing for so long about what is happening in Palestine and in Beit Jala. I have not had the energy to do so. But this week  and especially last night so many crazy things happened that I had to write to you and tell you about the inhuman things that the Israelis assassinated three young Palestinians who are leaders in Fateh, by putting a bomb in their car. These three were together visiting a relative's house who also lost a son, who was killed by an Israeli settler while working in Jerusalem. Ahmed Ubaiyyat was killed with knives by an Israeli settler after leaving his work in Jerusalem.

        The three young men were burnt to death in their car. After the news of their death the bombing started in Beit Jala, Bethlehem and Beit Sahour at the same time. Several tanks Occupied Aida refugee camp and destroyed all the cars, which were parked on the way. In Azza Refugee camp also a tank and several Israeli snipers took over the Inter Continental Hotel Building, the Paradise hotel building and also arrested the owner of Bethlehem Hotel who was alone in his hotel.

        At the same time several Israeli tanks invaded Beit Jala from the  backside of the town. The shelling did not stop all night and all day. Few hours ago six huge tanks past down by my house, going down  into Beit Jala center. My nieces Renata and Celina started crying hysterically when they saw and heard the tanks.

        I started calling Khaled from Inad to tell him and my friend George and his family about the tanks so they can take their children and run away before the tanks got to their area. Khaled who has a six months old baby last time Beit Jala was invaded his wife had to jump a two-meter wall to run with her baby. The baby continued having fever for a long time after that.

        I also called Sami's family to make sure they were OK. Sami's mother  told me that they have been hiding all night and day, and that her son's house Tareq was hit again. She was panicking and could not do anything at the house.

        Few minutes ago three people were killed by Israeli bullets, a young woman, Mariam Subeih, 35 years old from Al-Khader village. She was going to her home after checking on her parents, when she was shot dead. A young man from Aida camp, 25 years old, Abdel Qader Abu Srour was shot in the heart while at home. And now a young man, 20 years old Musa George Eid from my home town Beit Jala got shot in the neck while sitting in his home on the second floor.

        The heavy shelling continues from different sides of Beit Jala, Bethlehem and Beit Sahour. More than 30 Israeli Military tanks are distributed around Beit Jala and Bethlehem according to Israeli news.

        I am so scared of what more would happen tonight and how many people  would be killed. Of course I know that you might be sitting watching the news in your country and hearing the different media channels, like CNN and BBC and others reporting that Israeli tanks have been shooting as defense against armed Palestinians. Believe me, the three who were killed today and the little girl who was killed in Jenin coming out of her school were not armed. People are sitting at home scared for their lives and the lives of their families and children.

        Of course Palestinian human life is not worth anything to the USA government and to other western governments compared to Israeli lives. But for God life is of equal importance being Red Indian, Palestinian, Afghani or American.

        Please pray for a miracle to happen to stop the injustices happening in Palestine, because not human will be able to stop it. Love to all those who have hearts to care. God Bless you.

        Marina Barham