Letter from the Holy Land to those who celebrate Christmas

Letter One

"The Palestinian Population in Danger" To the Bishops World Wide sent by fax from the Commission for Justice and Peace, Roman Catholic Church (Latin Patriarchate) of Jerusalem.

THIS IS AN URGENT APPEAL FOR ASSISTANCE AND ACTION.

Following the recent tragic events in the Holy Land, the situation for Palestinians in the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza continues to deteriorate. Amid largely false reports to the world media that the closure of the territories and Gaza has been eased, the Israeli government has strictly enforced a policy that the West Bank and Gaza is a closed military zone. This means that Palestinians are being denied the freedom to travel.

Jerusalemites are not being allowed enter the West Bank to conduct business, to visit religious sites, go to hospitals or clinics; or attend schools or universities. Likewise, West Bank and Gaza Palestinians are not allowed to enter Jerusalem fro religious, educational, general medical or commercial reasons. Moreover, travel between West Banks towns is severely restricted or prohibited. Institutions in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, including schools and hospitals, are being strangled. The Palestinian economy continues to worsen, with already high unemployment rising further. The anxiety, distress and discouragement of the Palestinians population is growing daily. The closure of the West Bank and Gaza must be lifted immediately.

WE ASK THAT YOU TAKE CONCRETE STEPS TO ASSIST IN ALLEVIATING THE SITUATION.

Please in form your congregations and commissions of serious threat to the institutions of the Holy Land, and to the very survival of the Palestinian population. Please contact your own government officials about the situation. Please contact the representatives of the Israeli government in your area to protest the worsening situation and the punitive closure.

WE ASK THAT YOU RAISE THE FOLLOWING IMPORTANT ISSUES:

1- The right to travel freely within the West Bank, and to and from Jerusalem must be restored. The closure must be lifted immediately.

2- The fundamental right to receive an education must be restored.

3- The fundamental right to religious worship must be restored.

4- The fundamental right to receive heath care must be restored.

5- The fundamental right to work must be restored.

6- Peace accords should be honored and implemented immediately

How Could you celebrate Christmas, when the People who saw the First Christmas is deprived of his fundamental rights? How could you celebrate Christmas if you do not act immediately and work urgently for JUSTICE AND PEACE in the HOLY LAND. Please take actions. Thanks.


For more information call Rev. Labib Kobti: Fax (909)865-6895. E mail LabibKobti@aol.com