Palestinian Families Lunch With Pope

Parents, Children and Youth Who Have Experienced Hardships Dine at the Papal Table

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Pope Francis had lunch in Bethlehem today with Palestinian families in the Franciscan Convent of Casa Nova. The composition of the families is as follows:

1. George SBEIT and his wife Shadia with their children Nicole (15) and Cesar (13) From Ikrit, a Christian village entirely evacuated by the Israeli army in 1948. The inhabitants have not been able to return.

2. Elias ABU MOHOR with his wife Juliet, and their two young daughters, Isabel and Elizabeth (3) From Cremisan, Beit Jala. They risk losing their land, situated beyond the dividing wall, if this latter is completed as intended by the Israeli army.

3. Joseph HAZBOUN with his wife Rima, their son Ya zan (16) and their daughter Laian (18). The wife is from Jerusalem and the husband from Bethlehem. One of the many cases of families who cannot be reunited.

4. Shawki HALABY and his wife Abla with two sons, Fadi (30) and Tamer (27). From Jerusalem. Another of their sons is serving a life sentence in an Israeli prison.

5. Layla SHATARA, widow from Bethlehem, and has a son exiled to Gaza following the siege of the Basilica of the Nativity in 2002.

6. Rania Michel MIZAK (37), of the Gaza Christian community.

7. Mike ABED RABBO (23) Young man from Beit Jala, unable to hold any form of identity document.

8. Zakaria ZAKAKARIA From Bethlehem. Now in adult age, rehabilitated following drug dependency, with health problems.

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