The following is from George Rishmawi, our friend in Bethlehem. George accompanied us in Ramallah and Bethlehem in January 2004. I met him in Birmingham earlier this year. The illegal land grab continues as Israeli soldiers fail to protect Palestinians and their international supporters holding a Christian service.
Original Message —–
From: George N. Rishmawi
To: PCR List
Sent: Thursday, August 07, 2008 5:31 PM
Subject: [rapprochement] Israeli Settlers try to re-occupy land in Beit Sahour
The Israeli settlers are trying to re-occupy a land that belongs to Beit Sahour in Ush Ghrab site. Please see the article below,,, your full support is needed… the
presence of the settlers will prevent the construction of a hospital for children.
or go to this link
Besides, IMEMC and AIC produced a film about the site,,
Ush Ghrab; Liberated Land under Attack click the link or copy & paste it into your browser
Israeli settlers prevent a Christian service in Beit Sahour, assault worshippers
Over two hundred Israeli settlers assaulted Palestinian and International worshippers who were holding a prayer service at Ush Ghrab park in Beit Sahour Wednesday evening.
As the mass started the settlers, who organized an activity in the same site, started to provoke the worshippers and asked them to leave, eyewitnesses reported.
Settlers also threatened some of the local and international journalists who were present. The Israeli soldiers who were there asked the internationals and the
Palestinians to leave the park and did not attempt to stop the settlers when they started to force everyone to leave, the witnesses said.
The city council of Beit Sahour is planning to build a children hospital in the site in cooperation with intentional organization CURE. However, the Israeli army imposed a military order on the designated area and the settlers started to frequently plan activities on the site and claimed that the land belongs to them and that they want to built a settlement on this land.
The worshippers raised their prayers for the sake of the children of Bethlehem in order to have the planned hospital built.
The settlers, who come from the neighboring illegal settlements of Har Homa and Efrat and others in the Bethlehem area, erased murals that some Palestinian and
international activists had made a week ago and wrote some racist graffiti, calling for the death of Arabs.
Ush Ghrab was occupied by the Israeli army in 1967 and was used as a military base. In 2006 the army abandoned the site and the city council in Beit Sahour
rehabiliatated the site and turned part of it into a public park, and had a plan to build a hospital on the rest of it, in addition to some other facilities that would server the local community in Bethlehem.
George N. Rishmawi
The Palestinian Center for Rapprochement between People
Phone: +972(0)2-277-2018 Fax: +972(0)2-277-4602
www.pcr.ps , www.imemc.org
George S. Rishmawi
Siraj, Center For Holy Land Studies
Beit Sahour, Schoold Street
Tel: +972 2 274 8590
Fax: +972 2 274 8774
Mobile: 0599 180 872
USA number: 1 989 607 9480