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Open Letter by Deheishe Camp Residents to John Paul II

Your Holiness, Pope John Paul II, God bless you,

Our peaceful greetings to you

We are sending you our genuine sentiments, your Holiness, to say that…another year from the Palestinian calendar of pain has passed…deprived of having anything in the Land of Peace that is shedding blood and tears…full of sadness for the children of Palestine…the children of Bethlehem…the children of the camp who continue to be killed despite your efforts and commitment to see love and peace prevail.

A year has passed since your historic visit that carried deep importance that will continue to exist in the memory of every child, mother and elder in our camp. Deheishe camp, which you blessed by your visit, has been suffering on all levels, humanitarian and political.

We assure your Holiness that we, despite the pain of the deadly, terrifying and suffocating closure, still believe in peace and continue working for it…the peace that offers us the right to freely live in dignity…the right guaranteed by all religions…and by all customs and international law which affirms our right to establish our independent state, our right to return to our towns and villages stolen from us, the same places that you mentioned in your historical visit: "…you are carrying painful memories because of what you left behind, not only the material properties but also your freedom, relatives and the places where you were raised…".

Your Holiness, in the shadow of cumulative subjugation and aggression applied against our Palestinian people in general and the people of Bethlehem in particular, we call upon you to help provide international protection to Palestinian children, women and elders, to guarantee the desired peace in the Land of Peace.

Residents and organizations of Deheishe camp

Popular Committee

Fax: 972-2-276-4246