The top Roman Catholic clergyman in the Holy Land said that the Islamic terrorist group Hamas is strengthened by US opposition to its participation in Palestinian elections. Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah (Photo), a Palestinian, said U.S. criticism is only helping Hamas. “Hamas is getting more and more power thanks to (the) Bush administration's interventions,” Sabbah told reporters. He also expressed concern about the continued exodus of Palestinian Christians from the Holy Land, particularly during five years of Israeli-Palestinian fighting. Bethlehem’s mayor said last week that 42 percent of Bethlehem’s Christian residents emigrated during the past decade.