PIEF Post: Hope among hardships
Times for the Palestinians are hard as the news contained below indicate. Land seizures, lack of access to safe drinking water, obstruction of the right to worship, and the militarization of hitherto agricultural lands are all part of everyday experiences for the Palestinians. But it’s never all negative. As we always reaffirm, the resistance grows and in new arenas at that. A Dutch firm has withdrawn from the construction of a sewage plant for settlers in East Jerusalem upon advice from the Dutch government. And the Lake Erie Yearly Meeting has called on friends to join the boycott of products made in Israel’s illegal West Bank settlements and to divest from companies that support Israel’s military occupation and repression of the Palestinian people.
Beit Jala priest urges pope to help Palestinian Christians
A priest in Beit Jala on Sunday wrote a letter to Pope Francis describing the ongoing persecution which Christians face under Israeli occupation. Father Ibrahim Shomali said that Christians in the West Bank suffer from land confiscation to build settlements, roads and the separation wall. Land from Cremisan monastery is also being seized to build the Israeli separation wall, he wrote. Christians are committed to fight for their land but also need practical help to fight Israeli policies, Shomali said.
Israel blocks vital water disinfection equipment from entering Gaza
Israel has blocked the international development organization Oxfam from bringing vital equipment into the Gaza Strip to help make drinking water safe. “The blockade on Gaza prevented Oxfam’s public health programme bringing in a chlorometer to help get right chlorine levels to clean water,” Ben Phillips, the organization’s Campaigns and Policy Director tweeted from Gaza today. More than 90 percent of Gaza’s water supply is unfit for human consumption due to years of Israel’s deliberate destruction of sewage and water infrastructure, its ban on imports of equipment and pollution and over-extraction of the only underground aquifer.
Israel forces raid Aqsa compound
Israeli forces raided the al-Aqsa mosque compound after Friday prayers and fired stun grenades and pepper spray at Palestinian worshipers, a Ma’an reporter observed. Plainclothes policemen entered the compound and deployed in al-Aqsa’s square, surrounding the al-Qabali mosque where Palestinian worshipers were gathered. Al-Aqsa medical official Adnan Khanafseh said 55 injuries were treated.
PHOTOS: The faces of ‘Firing Zone 918’
The Israeli government plans to destroy eight Palestinian villages and expel 1,500 residents from their land in the southern West Bank. The people of Khirbet al Fakheit, Khallet Athaba’, and Khirbet at Tabban, pictured here, represent just three of those villages. The so-called “Firing Zone918,” which the Israeli military claims it needs for live-fire training, includes 30,000 acres of Palestinian private and agricultural land in the South Hebron Hills. The Palestinian residents have lived and worked on these lands for generations.
Dutch firm withdraws from sewage plant for settlers in East Jerusalem
The Netherlands-based engineering firm Royal HaskoningDHV has announced that it has decided to withdraw from a sewage treatment project in eastern occupied Jerusalem. The firm reviewed its involvement in designing the plant after the Dutch government discouraged it from aiding Israeli settlements and Palestinian organizations fiercely criticized the project. The project is still in its planning stages.
Lake Erie Yearly Meeting Supports Boycott and Divestment!
A regional Quaker organization encompassing Ohio, Michigan, and Western Pennsylvania, has become the first Quaker Yearly Meeting to officially endorse boycott and divestment targeting companies complicit in the Israeli occupation. The recently adopted minute states: “Lake Erie Yearly Meeting calls for Friends to join the boycott of products made in Israel’s illegal West Bank settlements and to divest from companies that support Israel’s military occupation and repression of the Palestinian people.”