VIST TO DEHESHEH PALESTINAIN REFUGEE CAMP, BETHELEHM

AUGUST 14TH , 1999

President Yasser Arafat described Patriarch's Michel SABBAH visit to Dehesheh refugee Camp (Bethlehem area) as a "historic(al) event". The Patriarch, Nazareth Palestinian born as a refugee from Nazareth in Beit Jala, recently elected as President (Chairman) of "Pax Christi" , supported by President Arafat, celebrated the end of the Summer Youth Camps in Palestine. he declared Jesus Himself was a refugee and that he died as a "fida'i" (Redeemer).

He stated that the law of Christ is love, universal love. He continued : we , christian ministers of God, ask our faithful to love their fellow human beings, to love their muslim brothers.

(My comment is obviously : we wish to hear the same, with this wonderful reciprocity, by muslim imams asking their faithful to love christians).

H.Beatitude stressed the right of Refugees to return to their homes, as justice is the only solid basis for peace.

It is moving to see that Msgr. Sabbah is really the "patriarch", from the greek words "patris" (fatherland) from "pater" (father), "arche", power : he has the heart and the power of a father in his fatherland!

By, Correspondant in Jerusalem,

Fr. Peter Hanna Madros