Congress should urge the government of Israel to halt unnecessary confiscation of Palestinian lands in the Occupied West Bank, which would help address the plight of Christian Palestinians in the Cremisan Valley and "renew hope for a just resolution to the conflict," according to the chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
BETHLEHEM, West Bank -- Coming to Bethlehem for Christmas is always like a family reunion for Afif Hazboun.
For example, in December he had been standing in front of the Christmas tree in Manger Square for less than 10 minutes, and already two cousins had greeted him warmly, exchanging news and pleasantries.
A native of Nazareth, the 48-year-old Catholic was following the tradition that his father -- who was born in Bethlehem and went to live in Nazareth -- began with him as a child: Hazboun brings his wife and children to visit the city every Christmas.
Peter leads the apostles in fishing (Jn 21:2-3,11). The "bark" (boat) of Peter has been regarded by Catholics as a figure of the Church, with Peter at the helm.
The warm waters of the Sea of Galilee are home to between 18 and 24 different species of indigenous fish. In 2005, 270 tons of tilapia, locally called "St. Peter's Fish," were caught by fishermen in the sea.
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LaMonda and Tony have stayed in a car, in laundromats, in a house that has no electricity, with relatives and hotels when they could get money from begging. They slept in a closet area and a cold basement storage area with rats running around them.
"We were scared, really scared, and I couldn't even sleep," Tony said.
With all the challenges they face, they remain dedicated to each other, able to smile and laugh.