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NEWS
By Peter Hermann and Peter Hermann,SUN FOREIGN STAFF | September 8, 2001
BEIT JALA, West Bank - First, Majida Shehadeh heard the rumble. But it wasn't until the overpowering smell of gasoline wafted into her parents' home one day last month that the Palestinian mother of two knew that Israeli tanks were near. She had moved her family and relatives into what she thought was a haven - a century-old stone house far from where shooting in Beit Jala usually occurred. But Israeli soldiers apparently liked the home's breathtaking view of the terraced hillside village below, a perfect spot to look down on Palestinian gunmen trying to hide on narrow, winding streets.
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NEWS
By Peter Hermann and Peter Hermann,SUN FOREIGN STAFF | October 15, 2002
BEIT JALA, West Bank - Palestinians here and in neighboring Bethlehem marched through the streets yesterday, protesting the death of Mohammed Abayat and threatening to destroy the calm that descended here after the Israeli military withdrew in August. Abayat, who belongs to a prominent Palestinian militant clan, had dropped his mother off at a hospital and walked outside to make a phone call Sunday night. He picked up the blue phone, only to have it explode the moment he put it to his ear. Doctors from Beit Jala Government Hospital rushed out the front door, but there was nothing they could do for him. Convinced the Israelis had assassinated Abayat, 25 - and had mistaken him for a higher-ranking militant in the same family - Palestinians marched through the streets in rage.
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NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | September 1, 2001
JERUSALEM - With an Israeli-Palestinian truce holding on Jerusalem's southern fringe, diplomatic efforts were made yesterday to see whether calm could be extended elsewhere to finally bring the conflict of the past year under control. The goal was to set up a meeting, possibly next week, between the Palestinian Authority chairman, Yasser Arafat, and the Israeli foreign minister, Shimon Peres, to discuss how to work out a true cease-fire instead of one that has existed in name only for more than two months.
NEWS
By Peter Hermann and Peter Hermann,SUN FOREIGN STAFF | October 9, 2002
BEIT JALA, West Bank - It happened on a quiet weekday evening. Two masked Palestinians jumped from a stolen car, took cover in an olive grove and fired shots across the valley at apartments in a Jerusalem neighborhood. This used to be an everyday occurrence. But a strange thing happened on this recent night in this village near Bethlehem. Palestinians upset with the shooting picked up the phone and called police. And Palestinian police actually responded and arrested the gunmen. The quick action not only prevented yet another retaliation by the Israeli army, it offered evidence of a change of heart in a city long ruled by militants.
NEWS
By Peter Hermann and Peter Hermann,SUN FOREIGN STAFF | October 9, 2002
BEIT JALA, West Bank - It happened on a quiet weekday evening. Two masked Palestinians jumped from a stolen car, took cover in an olive grove and fired shots across the valley at apartments in a Jerusalem neighborhood. This used to be an everyday occurrence. But a strange thing happened on this recent night in this village near Bethlehem. Palestinians upset with the shooting picked up the phone and called police. And Palestinian police actually responded and arrested the gunmen. The quick action not only prevented yet another retaliation by the Israeli army, it offered evidence of a change of heart in a city long ruled by militants.
NEWS
By Peter Hermann and Peter Hermann,SUN FOREIGN STAFF | October 15, 2002
BEIT JALA, West Bank - Palestinians here and in neighboring Bethlehem marched through the streets yesterday, protesting the death of Mohammed Abayat and threatening to destroy the calm that descended here after the Israeli military withdrew in August. Abayat, who belongs to a prominent Palestinian militant clan, had dropped his mother off at a hospital and walked outside to make a phone call Sunday night. He picked up the blue phone, only to have it explode the moment he put it to his ear. Doctors from Beit Jala Government Hospital rushed out the front door, but there was nothing they could do for him. Convinced the Israelis had assassinated Abayat, 25 - and had mistaken him for a higher-ranking militant in the same family - Palestinians marched through the streets in rage.
NEWS
By Peter Hermann and Peter Hermann,SUN FOREIGN STAFF | March 19, 2002
RAMALLAH, West Bank - Ahmed Shahin is 28, unshaven and rarely cracks a smile. He keeps an AK-47 assault rifle strapped over his right shoulder. At first glance, he looks every bit a tough militiaman. Shahin is both a militant and a member of the Palestinian security forces. He sees no conflict in these dual roles. It is his job to protect his leaders, and, sometimes, as happened last week, it means standing with other gunmen and exchanging fire with Israeli troops. If U.S. diplomats can produce a cease-fire agreement - and it appeared yesterday that one was close - Shahin would find himself in an uncomfortable position.
NEWS
By Peter Hermann and Peter Hermann,SUN FOREIGN STAFF | August 30, 2001
JERUSALEM - Israeli forces pulled out of the Palestinian town of Beit Jala before daybreak, witnesses said, hours after the Jewish state agreed to end its occupation if calm was restored. The withdrawal, arranged with U.S. and European help, began two days after Israeli tanks and troops occupied the village following heavy exchanges of fire between Palestinian gunmen in the town and the nearby Jewish neighborhood of Gilo, a Jerusalem suburb. Witnesses said Israeli tanks and armored personnel carriers headed out of Beit Jala, after gunfire stopped around midnight, five hours before the withdrawal began.
NEWS
By Peter Hermann and Peter Hermann,SUN FOREIGN STAFF | August 29, 2001
BEIT JALA, West Bank - Israeli soldiers were advancing toward the village square, overlooked by stone buildings with every window closed. Palestinian gunmen darted between the buildings, spraying bullets at a tank parked between a mosque and a church. Crouched behind sandbags on rooftops and street corners, the Israeli soldiers returned fire. Finally, a Palestinian commander shouted into his radio, "Withdraw! Withdraw!" Then, for just a few moments yesterday, Beit Jala was silent. The West Bank town of 6,500 people, built on a steep hill between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, has become an urban battlefield.
NEWS
By Peter Hermann and Peter Hermann,SUN FOREIGN STAFF | August 17, 2001
BEIT JALA, West Bank - For two nights, there has been quiet. The Palestinian gunmen hiding in centuries-old olive groves have disappeared. Israeli tanks have shut off their engines. So the dueling towns of Beit Jala and Gilo - one Palestinian, the other a Jewish suburb of Jerusalem built in the West Bank - are enjoying at least a temporary peace. Beit Jala and Gilo are no longer firing at each other. "If the Israelis really want to come into Beit Jala, they will do it whether there is shooting or no shooting," said George Ka'aber, 64, who runs a grilled chicken shack in Beit Jala, a traditionally Christian community that adjoins Bethlehem and climbs a steep hill.
NEWS
By Peter Hermann and Peter Hermann,SUN FOREIGN STAFF | March 19, 2002
RAMALLAH, West Bank - Ahmed Shahin is 28, unshaven and rarely cracks a smile. He keeps an AK-47 assault rifle strapped over his right shoulder. At first glance, he looks every bit a tough militiaman. Shahin is both a militant and a member of the Palestinian security forces. He sees no conflict in these dual roles. It is his job to protect his leaders, and, sometimes, as happened last week, it means standing with other gunmen and exchanging fire with Israeli troops. If U.S. diplomats can produce a cease-fire agreement - and it appeared yesterday that one was close - Shahin would find himself in an uncomfortable position.
NEWS
By Peter Hermann and Peter Hermann,SUN FOREIGN STAFF | September 8, 2001
BEIT JALA, West Bank - First, Majida Shehadeh heard the rumble. But it wasn't until the overpowering smell of gasoline wafted into her parents' home one day last month that the Palestinian mother of two knew that Israeli tanks were near. She had moved her family and relatives into what she thought was a haven - a century-old stone house far from where shooting in Beit Jala usually occurred. But Israeli soldiers apparently liked the home's breathtaking view of the terraced hillside village below, a perfect spot to look down on Palestinian gunmen trying to hide on narrow, winding streets.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | September 1, 2001
JERUSALEM - With an Israeli-Palestinian truce holding on Jerusalem's southern fringe, diplomatic efforts were made yesterday to see whether calm could be extended elsewhere to finally bring the conflict of the past year under control. The goal was to set up a meeting, possibly next week, between the Palestinian Authority chairman, Yasser Arafat, and the Israeli foreign minister, Shimon Peres, to discuss how to work out a true cease-fire instead of one that has existed in name only for more than two months.
NEWS
By Peter Hermann and Peter Hermann,SUN FOREIGN STAFF | August 30, 2001
JERUSALEM - Israeli forces pulled out of the Palestinian town of Beit Jala before daybreak, witnesses said, hours after the Jewish state agreed to end its occupation if calm was restored. The withdrawal, arranged with U.S. and European help, began two days after Israeli tanks and troops occupied the village following heavy exchanges of fire between Palestinian gunmen in the town and the nearby Jewish neighborhood of Gilo, a Jerusalem suburb. Witnesses said Israeli tanks and armored personnel carriers headed out of Beit Jala, after gunfire stopped around midnight, five hours before the withdrawal began.
NEWS
By Peter Hermann and Peter Hermann,SUN FOREIGN STAFF | August 29, 2001
BEIT JALA, West Bank - Israeli soldiers were advancing toward the village square, overlooked by stone buildings with every window closed. Palestinian gunmen darted between the buildings, spraying bullets at a tank parked between a mosque and a church. Crouched behind sandbags on rooftops and street corners, the Israeli soldiers returned fire. Finally, a Palestinian commander shouted into his radio, "Withdraw! Withdraw!" Then, for just a few moments yesterday, Beit Jala was silent. The West Bank town of 6,500 people, built on a steep hill between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, has become an urban battlefield.
NEWS
By Peter Hermann and Peter Hermann,SUN FOREIGN STAFF | April 9, 2002
BEIT JALA, West Bank - His hands bound behind his back and his eyes tightly blindfolded, Ahmad Ibrahim was taken Friday from his village near Bethlehem by Israeli soldiers and locked in a cell he likened to a packed chicken coop. The 23-year-old auto mechanic was released yesterday, after being held for four days with 150 others sharing a single toilet, all of them waiting to be interrogated by Israeli intelligence officers conducting a wide, seemingly indiscriminate dragnet to find wanted terrorists.
NEWS
February 28, 2006
OLGA ASSAF WAHBE passed away on February 25, 2006 at her home in Beit Jala in the Palestinian West Bank. Born on March 23, 1904, she died just a month short of her 102nd birthday. She dedicated her life and spent sixty years educating several generations of Palestinian girls and women, first under the British Mandate, later under the Jordanian government and finally under the Israeli occupation. She served as a teacher, administrator and advisor to government and private schools. Miss Wahbe attended the British High School in Jerusalem and continued her education in the British Girls' School where she received her Teacher's Diploma.
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