Caritas staff prevented from going to work

Three Caritas Jerusalem staff members were not able to reach work today due to the Israeli army's incursion in Bethlehem and reinforcement of troops and checkpoints between Bethlehem and Jerusalem. The military actions are a response to yesterday's bombing where a Palestinian man from Bethlehem blew himself up in a bus in Jerusalem killing 11 Israelis.

The tragedy yesterday is the latest push in the escalating circle of violence in Palestine/Israel. The bombing has again had consequences for a large number of people. IDF troops began operating in Bethlehem early this morning cancelling the 'Bethlehem-Gaza first' agreement, which made Israeli troops redeploy from the city. Curfew is imposed, and several Palestinians have been arrested. Furthermore, checkpoints and road closures have been beefed up along the way to Jerusalem creating long lines, and forcing dozens of people to return.

For Caritas Jerusalem, it has meant that the head of the Social Services Department as well as two staff members in Caritas' Old City Counselling Center were prevented from going to work. Another staff member is prevented from going home to Bethlehem, and is obliged to stay in Jerusalem until further notice.

Caritas Jerusalem strongly condemns the bombing yesterday, and expresses its deepest sympathy with the families of the killed innocent people. No excuses can justify the bombing. Caritas Jerusalem views the act as a reflection of the desperation, hopelessness, and feeling of nothing to loose, which are growing in Palestine.

Caritas Jerusalem
23. november 2002

av Webmaster publisert 22.11.2002, sist endret 22.11.2002 - 16:28