EAPPI Christmas 2011 Newsletter
News from the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel
As the season of advent draws to a climax, Christians around the world tell each other the great story of redemption that began in Bethlehem over 2000 years ago. We sing songs of the mother on a donkey, the closed inn and the child in the manger. But this Christmas, spare a thought for the oldest community of Christians in the world: Palestinians who still live within a few miles of Jesus’ birthplace and resurrection.
The Ziedans are a Christian family from Beit Jala, a village next to Bethlehem. On the morning of 13 December, Miranda Ziedan received a call from a neighbour, telling her that the Israeli army was demolishing a house belonging to her family.
“We are the owner of the land; we have legal papers,” Miranda told EAPPI. But Israel’s discriminatory planning practices in Area C, some 62% of the West Bank, make it almost impossible for Palestinians to get permission to build “legally.”