9 October 2000

URGENT APPEAL

SALAAM

There is no doubt that the current violent conflict targeting the Liberated
Palestinian Territories, Jerusalem and the Arab Palestinian citizens of
Israel has markedly escalated over the past twenty-four hours.

On Sunday evening, October 8th, several hundreds of armed Israeli settlers
brazenly rampaged through Arab homes and businesses in Nazareth, as well as
the Jerusalem suburbs of Shufat, A-Ram and Beit Hanina.  Property was
wantonly destroyed, people were attacked and injured, and two Arab
Palestinian Nazarenes were killed.

The increased focus of attack on the Arab Palestinian citizens of Israel is
a calculated change in policy.  Over the last fifty-two years, this has
never happened.  The Arab Palestinians of Israel have a proven history of
observance of the laws of Israel; their only recent provocation to violent
attacks has been peaceful demonstrations.

So far, over 90 Palestinians have been killed, including 13 Arab Israelis,
and of these over 50% are minors under the age of eighteen.  Over three
thousand have been injured.  Health care institutions are full beyond
capacity, and the Palestinian Ministry of Health reports a dangerously low
stock of medications and supplies.  Hospitals in neighboring Arab countries
are also full with those critical cases that have been transferred.  The
recent closure of the Gaza Airport by Israel has not only hindered the
arrival of international donations of medical supplies and aid, it has
necessitated the transport of critically ill and injured patients across
the border to El Arish in Egypt for air evacuation.  Your support to help
alleviate the pain of our injured will be greatly appreciated. We ask that
you send your gifts of kindness to our Diocese, which will be earmarked
toward Al Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza and St. Luke's Hospital in Nablus.

We recognize, with gratitude, the resolution of the United Nations Security
Council, condemning the extreme force used against Arab Palestinians by the
Israeli Armed Forces.

   We call upon the international community to provide us, the Arab
Palestinians of the Liberated Palestinian Lands, the Holy City of Jerusalem
and inside the State of Israel, with protection.  We fear for our safety
and security, and the safety of our families, neighbors and loved ones.
 
  We call upon the international community to compel the State of
Israel to withdraw its armed forces, troops, armed settlers and civilians,
and vigilante patrols from all inhabited areas of Liberated Palestine, as
well as the predominately Arab populated areas of East Jerusalem and
Israel.
    We call upon the international community to demand a proper
investigation of the causes behind the current bloody aggression, to be
carried out by a neutral party, such as the United Nations.

 We call upon the international community to force the government of
Israel to honor, comply and abide by all previous United Nations
resolutions and withdraw from areas still under Israeli occupation since
1967, including East Jerusalem.

   We ask that the international community support our endeavor to
raise the funds necessary to cover the cost of legal proceedings against
those found responsible, with the object of recouping the loss of property
and life, and the devastating effects of injury to body, mind and spirit.
This will be done through an Ecumenical Fund for Legal Aid to Support
Palestinian Victims of Violence.

   We deeply value your support in prayer and your endeavor to bring
awareness of the Palestinian cause to your respective governments.
 

In Christ,
+Rt. Rev. Riah Abu El-Assal
Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem