Christians Satisfied With Holy Land Peace Convoy

JERUSALEM, Oct 24, 01 ( - Christian leaders in the Holy Land pronounced their satisfaction with the results of their "Solidarity Convoy for Peace," which traveled from Jerusalem to embattled Bethlehem.

Father Raed Abusahlia, the chancellor of the Latin-rite Patriarchate of Jerusalem, told the Fides news agency that the convoy "carried a message of peace to a place destroyed by war." He also observed that there was no fighting during the time that the Solidarity Convoy was in Bethlehem, but shooting resumed as soon as they left.

About 2,000 people, and 200 cars, began the trip from Jerusalem. They were joined by hundreds of others along the way, so that an estimated 5,000 people participated in a concluding prayer in Manger Square in Bethlehem.

The convoy was allowed to pass peacefully through Israeli checkpoints on the road from Jerusalem to Bethlehem-- a road that has been blocked for several months.

Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the apostolic nuncio in Israel, told Fides that the event was "a pilgrimage of peace and solidarity, to say that the path of dialogue and international legitimacy must be taken in order to reach peace: a gift of God and the fruit of the will of men."

Catholic World News Service - Daily News Briefs
24. oktober 2001