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EAPPI March/April Newsletter

May 23, 2006

In this issue:

  • World Council of Churches asks EU to give new Palestinian authority more time
  • Ecumenical Accompanier attacked by settler in Hebron

WCC asks European Union to give new Palestinian authority more time

Following the European Union’s endorsement of a temporary halt to direct aid to the Palestinian government headed by Hamas, the World Council of Churches is urging the European Union to exercise “respect for the democratic mandate given by (the recent Palestinian) elections and time for the new government to find its feet and demonstrate its intentions.” An 11th April letter from WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia warns of the likelihood “of increasing suffering and new dangers to peace ahead”.

For the full press release, please go to: http://www.oikoumene.org/en/home.html

News from around EAPPI placements

The past weeks have been busy as the Group 16 Ecumenical Accompaniers have settled into their placements. Following the siege of the Jericho jail by the Israeli army in mid-March, three British Accompaniers were briefly taken out of their placements for security reasons and returned soon afterwards. An article written by Canadian EA, David Le Grand can be found on our website, detailing the experience of a group of school children from Bethlehem who were trapped in Jericho on the day of the raid. Please see below: ‘Articles This Month’.

Swiss EA attacked by settler in Hebron

On 1st April, Ecumenical Accompanier Silvana Hogg (Switzerland) was attacked by a Jewish settler in the West Bank town of Hebron. Every day Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAs) accompany the girls from the Cordoba school to and from school. On this day three EAs were waiting for the girls opposite the settlement of Beit Hadassah when a young settler boy of approximately 16 years of age approached Silvana carrying a large stone. The boy threw the stone from a distance of about 2 meters. The stone, which was approximately the size of a football, hit her in the head. Silvana was rushed to hospital and required seven stitches in her head. Shortly afterwards, Palestinians were also attacked with stones, although no further injuries occurred.

This is not an isolated incident. There are ongoing attacks against Palestinians and internationals in the Tel Rumeida district of Hebron. On 25 March, an American volunteer was attacked by approximately 20 young settlers and was hospitalized.

The incident was reported to the police, although it has previously been experienced that investigations are slow and often end without criminal proceedings against the settlers. It is not known if the police have yet taken action against the settler boy, despite the fact that photographic evidence of him was provided.

Border police detain eight men in drainage pipe near Bethlehem

On 10th April a border policeman forced eight labourers, who were being detained beside an unfinished section of the separation barrier, to sit in a drainage pipe recently installed under the road. The incident took place in the valley between the villages of Al-Nu’man and Al Khas, just north of Bethlehem. For more information on the incident, witnessed by the Bethlehem team of Ecumenical Accompaniers, please go to: www.eappi.org (under News and Updates)

International Church Action for Peace in Palestine and Israel

The International Church Action for Peace in Palestine and Israel concluded Sunday 19 March. As 50 people from eight countries paid a solidarity visit to Jerusalem and the Occupied Palestinian Territories during the week long initiative, activities were simultaneously taking place across five continents.

Launching the week at a worship service in Jerusalem, Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah stated that freedom for the Palestinians and security for Israelis are not contradictory notions: "We address our appeal to both peoples: Israelis, in search of your security and permanent peace, we love you all. Palestinians, in search of your freedom and dignity, we love you all. Both of you are capable of loving each other. The language of violence has replaced so far, for too long a time, this language of love."

For more on the International Church Action for Peace, please go to: http://www.oikoumene.org/en/home.html

EAPPI Publications

ChainReaction

The latest edition of the EAPPI quarterly magazine, ChainReaction, focuses on children and young people. This third edition titled: Children and the Conflict can be found on our website: www.eappi.org (under Documents). To obtain copies, please contact the Communications Officer at the address below.

Living with Settlers Booklet

Norwegian Church Aid have produced a booklet on the issue of settlers in the northern West Bank village of Yanoun. Compiled by EA, Thomas Mandal, the booklet includes interviews with the Yanoun villagers. To obtain a copy, please contact NCA on: anne.veiteberg@nca.no

EAPPI DVD
The EAPPI has produced a twelve minute DVD on the programme. The DVD was filmed and produced by four Danish EAs and covers the work in many of the EAPPI placements, as well as interviews with EAPPI partners. For copies, please contact the Communications Officer.

EAPPI leaflets now available in French, Spanish, Portuguese and German. We also produce leaflets in English, Arabic and Hebrew.

Articles this month:

You can find the following articles on our website:

The Wall Snakes Closer, Goren Buren (Sweden)
The Wrong Walls Tumbled, David Mowat (United Kingdom)

Far Too Normal, David LeGrand (Canada)

To view, please go to: www.eappi.org and click on ‘Accompaniers Reports’

The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) supports Palestinians and Israelis working for peace by monitoring and reporting violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, offering protection by accompanying local communities in daily activities, and by advocating with churches for a peaceful end to the Occupation. The programme, which began in 2002, is coordinated by the World Council of Churches (WCC). The WCC is a fellowship of 347 churches, in more than 100 countries in all continents from virtually all Christian traditions. Its office is in Geneva, Switzerland.

For more information on the WCC: www.wcc-coe.org



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