Dear friends and partners,
 
In this update we would like to share with you what happened to one of our staff who lives in Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem. Khawla El-azrak is one of our social workers and coordinate the training unit in the Rehabilitation Program. Khawla, herself, is a refugee and works with us since the year 1991.

The Israeli aggression in the Area of Bethlehem is going on. There is
continuous shooting at the Palestinians and their properties from the
tanks and snipers who occupied the main high buildings in the District.
The YMCA staff Khawla El-azrak and her disabled daughter, Aseel were
subject to the Israeli snipersí fire on Monday morning the 18th of March. While Khawla and
her 8 year daughter were trying to reach their house at Aida refugee
Camp, to check the damage caused by the Israeli shelling, they were shot
at by the Israeli snipers from the Intercontinental Hotel, less that 100
meter from them, despite the fact that the area was calm at that time.
Aseel got injured in her right thigh by a bullet. Other fragments hit
her, all over the body. She is now under treatment at the Hospital, with
a stable condition, but she is very frightened and can't express that
normally due to her disability.
Khawla and her family were obliged to leave their house, when the Israeli army
incurred Bethlehem on the night of March the 7th, looking for a more
secure place. Their car was fully damaged and the house has severe
damage as a result of the shelling caused by the Israeli Tanks and
choppers.

Still, and despite the news you might hear in the TVs and Radios, West Bank and Gaza are under total closure. In Bethlehem, we are still under shelling and many areas are still under curfue. The tanks are moving inside Beit Jala, Bethlehem and the refugee camps. None from the pupils went to school today because of the snipers who are on the high building shooting at any moving thing.
 
The East Jerusalem YMCA Advocacy Desk
Monday, 18th of March 2002