Update from Beit Sahour
 
 Dr. Majed Nassar
 Union of Health Work Committees,
22 November 2000
 
 Dear Friends,
 
 Contrary to what you have been hearing on the news, the "Israeli" occupation government is NOT allowing medical personnel to access their places of work or to tend to people who have been wounded.
 
As recently as this morning, when the "Israeli" army shelled  two civilian  cars  in  Gaza,  killing  4  people  and  wounding   8,
ambulances were prohibited from reaching  the  site.  In  another  instance today, a man was shot and  injured  in  the  village  of
Hussan, near Bethlehem. Villagers contacted us at the clinic here in Beit Sahour asking us to send an ambulance. As we do not  have one, we called the emergency station in Bethlehem. They responded by informing us that their ambulances are not  allowed  to  enter Hussan.
 
 Also this morning, our outreach  team  was  sent  back  again  by "Israeli" soldiers who were stopping every  Palestinian  car  and
 shooting its four wheels. This has been the soldiers'  "fun"  for the  last  week.  Our   Pediatric   Cardiologist,   Dr.   Mahmoud
Nashashibi, has been prevented  each  week  from  coming  to  our Center in Beit Sahour from Jerusalem. Each week there are  up  to 20 mothers who have brought their infants for an echocardiography  examination. We have had to send them home because Dr. Nashashibi is unable to come. The Caritas Baby Hospital in Bethlehem,  which relies  on  our  Center  to  perform  this  procedure  for  their pediatric patients, has nowhere else to turn. The same thing goes for  our  neurologist,   our   diabetes   specialist,   and   our dermatologist who come from Jerusalem.
 
 Also today, in  Hebron,  Israeli  bulldozers  destroyed  the  old Palestinian market (for "security reasons," they say). The people
 of the old  city  of  Hebron,  almost  40,000,  have  been  under constant curfew for the past 40 days.  Thirty-four  schools  have
 been closed and more than 13,000 children are confined  to  their homes, in addition to 460 teachers. Four schools have been turned into military compounds.
 
 In addition, hundreds of trees have been  uprooted  in  Gaza,  in Beit Sahour, and in almost every village in the north. The  olive
 harvest, one of the main means of livelihood for many Palestinian farmers, has been destroyed as the farmers  are  prohibited  from collecting the olives from their trees.
 
 All this and much more  has  happened  only  one  day  after  the "Israeli" occupation forces bombarded Gaza for over  three  hours with tank shells, gunfire, and helicopter missiles, causing  much damage  and  many  injuries,  especially  and  mostly  among  the civilian population.
 
 The escalation is obvious. It seems the "Israeli" government  has realized that the Palestinian people are determined to win  their
 freedom  and  independence.  What  they  haven't  yet   realized, however, is that their increasing aggression and  terrorism  will
 not crush this determination.