What is the TRUTh: After the reprot of the CNS
(JERUSALEM LETTER Oct-9-2000 (940 words) With photo. xxxi
Via Dolorosa: Violence brings a new kind of pain
By Judith Sudilovsky
Catholic News Service)

I sent this message to the Latin Patriarchate so as to get the TRUTH:

You will read:

1) My message
2) The report of the CNS
3) The Answer of the Legal Advisor of the Latin Patriarchate of Jeruselem

1) My message
Please respond and help me to spread the TRUTH.
Read the report from CNS, contact the priests mentioned and respond to my
questions. IT IS IMPORTANT. If you ge them to write something it will be
great. IT IS IMPORTANT.

Is it true that Palestinians are the ones who started violence?
Is it true that the Palestinians throw stones on the Wailing wall?
 

2) CNS Report

JERUSALEM LETTER Oct-9-2000 (940 words) With photo. xxxi
Via Dolorosa: Violence brings a new kind of pain
By Judith Sudilovsky
Catholic News Service

JERUSALEM (CNS) -- The rocks, rubber bullets and tear gas casings strewn
along the start of the Via Dolorosa brought a new kind of pain to this path
where Christian tradition holds that Jesus walked on his way to his
crucifixion.

Once again violence came to a head just outside the 4.5-acre piece of land
considered holy by Muslims and Jews, adjacent to the Christian Via Dolorosa.
For Jews the Temple Mount is the place where their holy temple stood during
biblical times, and for Muslims al-Harem al-Sharif is the spot from where the
Prophet Mohammed ascended into the heavens.

This little segment of land may just be the most revered piece of land on
earth. But instead of being a site of peaceful contemplation, faithful
worship and quiet coexistence, which seemingly should be fostered by a true
love of God, it has become the prime location for a deadly and desperate
national struggle between Israelis and Palestinians and the site on which any
final Mideast peace agreement hinges.

While administered by the Waqf, the Muslim religious authority, overall
sovereignty and security of the site has been in Israeli hands since the 1967
war.

On Oct. 6 for the first time, after reaching an agreement with the Waqf and
security people of Fatah, the party of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat,
Israel decided to temporarily withdraw its security forces from the Temple
Mount during Friday midday prayers in order to avoid aggravating already
frayed nerves.

Meanwhile at the Western Wall, which is below and adjacent to the site along
another side, some one dozen Jewish worshippers had come to pray, as is their
custom. A few tourists milled around. Riot police and soldiers marched
through the square and quickly disappeared into the nooks and crannies of the
surrounding buildings and stairwells. For a while, there were more
journalists than anyone else at the Western Wall.

Then suddenly a roar could be heard from above, and a rain of rocks flew down
from the surrounding wall and fell across the square. The Palestinian
authorities on the mount above had been unable to control the rock-throwing
young men.

Israeli police quickly escorted the worshippers -- including two adolescent
girls who just moments earlier had been giggling at all the media attention
-- into doorways on either side of the wall. Ten minutes and it was all over:
Worshippers returned to prayer, and the two girls walked away quickly, their
arms around each other, one in tears.

But the violent clashes had just begun over at the Lion's Gate, also known as
St. Stephen's Gate, only a few hundred yards away from the first Station of
the Cross. As people exited the Temple Mount/al-Harem al-Sharif complex,
teen-age boys hurled rocks at Israeli soldiers, who sporadically responded
with rubber bullets and tear gas.

Palestinian medics holding gurneys stayed close to walls waiting to carry off
any injured. Journalists hid behind doorways and corners, crouching as the
bullets and rocks came flying into the street from all directions. At one
point, the demonstrators turned their wrath on journalists and photographers.

A few journalists found temporary haven inside the gate of the St. Anne
Church, where Father Stephan Joulain, a member of the Missionaries of Africa,
opened the heavy doors and motioned them inside.

The church marks the site where tradition holds Jesus made the lame man walk
and where Mary's mother, St. Anne, is believed to have been born. Inside the
church garden, the searing stench of tear gas permeated the area and burned
throats and noses at every breath.

In single file, journalists followed the priest up to the roof of the
residence building, where they were privy to a bird's-eye view of the clash.
>From there they could see youths attack a small police office and set it
afire and watch as the ebb and flow of the stone-throwing Palestinian teens
took on a life of its own. The youths owned the streets, directing ambulance
drivers and giving instruction to journalists and pedestrians caught in the
crossfire.

One father who had come to pray, his two young sons clutching hands, made his
way through the melee. The Israeli soldiers, not much older than Palestinian
youths, kept their distance.

The Palestinians threw the first rocks, then the Israelis responded, said
Father Joulain as he was accosted by journalists' questions. He said it was
all the result of the suffering of people: The Palestinians are simply fed up
with the situation.

And what about the holiness, the sacredness of this place?

``I am very inclined to see in the suffering of people the God in Christ who
came to unite himself with the men and women of this world when they are
suffering and being abused,'' he said. ``It is also God's cry for freedom for
the people.''

A Catholic South African national, Andre Solodkowski, 50, originally from
Poland, had ducked into the church. He shook his head as he watched the scene
unfolding.

As Solodkowski joined journalists trying to make their way out of the Lion's
Gate, hiding in an archway near the burning police station, he said:
``Holiness has nothing to do with it -- it's a power struggle. It is sad. It
just hurts to see this. Seeing what I've seen today, I don't feel the
holiness of this place.''

Just then, as journalists waited for a lull in the fighting to make a run for
it through the gate and avoid the pelting of rocks and rounds of rubber
bullets, an ambulance, its lights whirling, entered the gate to evacuate some
more wounded.

Painted along its side were the words ``Peace Ambulance.''

 3) The Answer of the Legal Advisor of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem

Dear Abouna Labib,

Why does not CNS read the reports and appeals of all the churches of the Holy Land? I wonder!!
 Is a biased journalist more credible than all of these bishops, priests, patriarchs and others...this is a shame.

This story has nothing to do with the truth. Sharon provocative visit ignited the anger and frustration of a people that had been subjected to humiliation and misery for 52 years now. this story if anything is twisting the truth and hiding it. there are undeniable facts that Barak himself admitted:
Why permitting Sharon to visit al-Haram?
Why 3000 special police force including snipers?
Why did the soldiers lock the gates to al-Haram compound before starting shooting live ammunition?
Why did they deny access to ambulances both to al-Haram then to hospitals?
Then the question now, why the disproportional use of force against civilians in the aftermath? My parish has been shelled a couple of days ago.
The numbers speak for themselves: 80 Palestinians were killed, and only two Israelis until now. thousands of Palestinians are injured (many of them seriously).
We live in terror. This is a state (Israeli) sponsored terror against civilian persons. Whoever is denying this truth is blind...this omission in telling the truth to the whole world is complicity...who ever would tell such a story is a criminal. Why isn't the blood of Palestinian children generating indignation for these journalists? For God sake, help stop the carnage not covering the crime.
The Palestinian police force in case if you don't know is less equipped than the police of DC.
By the way, I am the parish priest of Beit Sahour and an eye-witness to these crimes...
I was supposed to fly through Tel Aviv to DC tomorrow but because I am afraid of Israelis I postponed my trip...

Fr. Majdi al-Siryani
Legal Advisor of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem