Office of President/Vice Chancellor
9 March 2002
The IDF fired a wire-guided missile
Millennium Hall at about 9:00 last night (8 March). It punched a
hole through the stone-clad reinforced concrete wall, blasting
out windows and window frames on two floors, damaging Classrooms
302 and 402. The impact of the powerful blast spread to other
parts of the building, as well as to the nearby Institute of
Hotel Management and the Social and Cultural Center on campus. It
is fortunate that no one was near enough to be injured or killed.
This missile attack, devastating in physical and psychological
implications, is but one result of unprecedented brutal
aggression on the Palestinian people in recent days. Statistics
of casualties and damage continue to change, but at this writing
seven deaths and over a hundred injuries have been reported in
Bethlehem alone in the past two days. In addition, the entire
city and surroundings has been traumatized and terrorized as
never before by the ominous sounds of helicopters and drones and
threats of gunship and tank attacks. Beit Jala, next to
Bethlehem, is still under curfew with over 40 huge tanks
surrounding the village preventing movement in and out of homes
and on the streets. Deheisheh Camp, which has suffered extensive
human loss and damage, is also under curfew.
As a demoralized and battered people braces itself for
night of trepidation and fear, the following questions continue
to remain unanswered:
How long will illegal occupation and oppression
of a people
struggling for freedom and basic human rights be allowed to
continue? When will the senseless sacrifice of innocent lives of
both oppressed and oppressor come to an end?
What can be done to mobilize the international community,
many see as the only potential force capable of exerting
legitimate influence, to assume greater moral responsibility in
resolving the situation?
We at Bethlehem appeal to you, once again, to do whatever you can
to put an end to this escalating tragic situation. We urge you,
in whatever forum you deem effective, to:
1. Pressure Israel to withdraw its military immediately from all
2. Push for international intervention to help the
return to negotiation.
3. Insist that those responsible for inhumane attacks on innocent
persons be accountable and brought to justice.
4. Pray for a just peace for the Holy Land.
Brother Vincent Malham, FSC