Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel

March and April 2007 Newsletter
Num. 19

The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel would like to wish you a happy and blessed Easter.

Palm Sunday and Easter Access
Palestinians and internationals marked Palm Sunday by processing from the Mount of Olives to Jerusalem’s old city on Sunday April 1st. Many internationals travelling from abroad participated, yet Palestinians from Bethlehem and surrounding areas required special permits to enter Jerusalem.

In a statement ahead of Easter, Palestinian Christian NGOs reminded readers that in the last few years the Occupation authorities have impeded Easter celebrations, especially on the Saturday of the Holy Fire celebrations, by preventing local worshipers from reaching the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. They called for the right to worship freely in this church.

View the full statement at: http://www.holyland-lutherans.org/07EasterChristianNGOs.htm

Shepherd Killed Near Yanoun
On Sunday March 25, a shepherd Muhammed Hamdaan beni Jaaber, a 54 year old father of 6 from Aqraba, was beaten and stabbed to death on a hillside near Yanoun. Ecumenical Accompaniers maintain a permanent protective presence in this village. On Sunday night, his sheep returned home without him, alerting villagers that something was wrong. They found his body early the following morning.

To view a full report, please go to: www.eappi.org and click on ‘News & Updates’

Land day
Palestinians in Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories held demonstrations and marches on Friday March 30 to mark Land Day. On this day in 1976, Israeli authorities killed six Palestinians during peaceful demonstrations in the Galilee, after the Government of Israel confiscated land from Palestinian villages and towns inside Israel. EAs (ecumenical accompaniers) attended non-violent demonstrations and tree planting events in Um Salamone, Qaffin near Tulkarem, Azba Tbib near Qalqilya and Beit Furik near Nablus.

International Women’s Day
On International Women’s Day, EAs (ecumenical accompaniers) from the Jerusalem team joined Palestinian and Israeli women marching together for an end to the occupation. About 100 women were present at the march. However, soldiers stopped the Palestinian women from marching from the south to Jerusalem at Qalandia checkpoint. The soldiers closed the gates and fired sound bombs towards the women. The women remained at the checkpoint, shouting, “End the occupation now!”

Nu’aman Village
Nu’aman village near Bethlehem has reached a crucial point in its non-violent resistance to the occupation. In 1967, when Israel annexed East Jerusalem and surrounding areas, the village of Nu’aman was included. The residents were not given Jerusalem ID cards however, and are considered to be living in their village illegally. An appeal to Israel’s High Court regarding the status of Nu’aman will be heard in May 2007. Now is an important time to learn more about what concerned individuals can do to support the village.

For further information, please go to: www.eappi.org and click on ‘News & Updates’ or see the Al Haq report here: http://www.alhaq.org/pdfs/Al-Numan%20Village.pdf

International Church Action for Peace in Palestine and Israel (ICAPPI)
June 3-9
The World Council of Churches through its ICAPPI initiative will commemorate 40 years of the 1967 Israeli occupation of Palestinian Territories. The WCC asks for member churches, related organisations, and church peace movements to consider joining ICAPPI initiatives held during June 3-9, 2007.

For more information go to: http://www.icappi.org.au/ICAPPI_enewsMarch07.pdf

EAPPI Publications
The latest edition of the EAPPI magazine, ChainReaction, entitled: How Long O’ Lord focuses on international resolutions. To obtain copies, please contact EAPPI at eappi-co@wcc-coe.org

Swedish EAPPI SEAPPI published a booklet “Med var egna ogon” ("With our own eyes") on EAs experiences in Palestine and Israel. To obtain a copy, please contact SEAPPI at: seappi@skr.org


For more information please contact: Roslyn Harper, Communication & Advocacy Officer +972 (0)2 628-9402 (eappi-co@wcc-coe.org), Rifat Kassis, International Programme Coordinator +41 22 791-6314 (rka@wcc-coe.org).

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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