I was not happy with the formatting on my earlier post regarding the World Council of Churches' Week of Peace. I think this one will be better. Sorry for the duplication.
Promoting a just peace in Israel and Palestine
"Our question to our brothers and sisters in the churches today is: Are you able to help us get our freedom back? For this is the only way you can help the two peoples attain justice, peace, security and love."
A moment of truth - the Palestine Kairos Document, 6.1. [http://www.kairospalestine.ps/]
A week for peace
Israel's occupation of the Palestinian Territories is at the heart of perhaps the world's most globalized conflict. The siege of Gaza and the colonization of the West Bank drive ideological battles that reach far beyond the Middle East. Bringing a just peace to the Holy Land is in everybody's interest.
World Week for Peace in Palestine and Israel [http://www.oikoumene.org/events-sections/wwppi.html ]
The Week for Peace, which begins on Saturday 29th May, is an international church-led campaign for a just peace through an end to the occupation and universal respect for human rights. The World Council of Churches initiative encourages Christians worldwide to pray, educate their communities about the occupation, and advocate for peace.
“At a time when both Palestinians and Israelis continue to suffer from the occupation of Palestinian territory, the World Council of Churches has designated this week as a time to pray for a lasting peace that would secure the legitimate rights and justice for both peoples,” says Rev. John Calhoun, the campaign's convener.
Events during the week will include exhibitions, lectures, worship services and live television broadcasts.
To find out about events in your country, visit the World Week for Peace website. [http://www.oikoumene.org/en/events-sections/wwppi/events-summary.html]
The occupation and you
The need for international action for peace in Israel and Palestine is as acute as ever. As Israeli peace activists like Gila Svirsky remind us, only by ending the occupation can Israel hope to live in peace with its neighbors. [http://www.eappi.org/en/news/ea-reports/r/article/4837/two-determined-women.html]
But Israeli policies like the blockade of Gaza continue to cause immense human suffering. Experts now warn of a “very serious” water crisis as Israel blocks the entry into Gaza of essential building materials to repair sewage treatment plants that should serve the territory’s 1.3 million people. [http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2010/0322/World-Water-Day-Thirsty-Gaza-residents-battle-salt-sewage]
Meanwhile, Israel is tightening its grip on occupied East Jerusalem, eroding prospects for a negotiated agreement over the Holy City. Palestinian Christians say Israeli policies are severely restricting their freedom of worship, preventing many of this year's Easter celebrations in Jerusalem and blocking thousands of people from reaching their holy sites. [http://www.eappi.org/en/news/eappi-news/se/article/4834/israel-restricted-easter.html]
Nearby in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, Israeli settlers recently attacked Ecumenical Accompaniers with rocks and verbal insults in protest at our work with local families who have been evicted from their homes. EAs caught the attack on video. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPm1AQqF77M]
EAs also visited the site of several recent house demolitions and evictions which have seen an elderly couple and several children forced to move into their animal sheds after ideological settlers won a court case allowing them to seize the couple’s home of over four decades. [http://www.eappi.org/en/news/eappi-news/se/article/4566/another-palestinian-famil.html]
In a tightening of regulations that could affect thousands of Palestinians, the Israeli army has issued orders that could allow commanders to define thousands of West Bankers as "illegal infiltrators." Deportations to Gaza have already begun. [http://www.eappi.org/en/news/eappi-news/se/article/4566/illegal-deportations-of.html]
In a worrying development, the Israeli authorities appear to be clamping down harder on human rights activists, targeting both Palestinians and Israelis who resist the policies of the Israeli government. [http://www.icahd.org/eng/articles.asp?menu=6&submenu=2&article=579] Civil society groups have condemned recent arrests and laws proposed by right-wing politicians which, if they are passed by the Knesset, would severely limit the work of those carrying out their democratic right to hold their government to account.
Back in Gaza, Palestinians are waiting expectantly as international civil society ups the pressure on Israel to end the siege. Activists are sending nine boats from four countries to carry 10,000 tons of much-needed supplies to the strip. Follow their progress at http://witnessgaza.com/
Pray with us for justice
EAPPI campaigns for a genuine peace process that can justly resolve the conflict in the Middle East. You can keep up to date with our campaigns by joining our 700-strong Facebook group at http://www.eappi.org/index.php?id=7869&rid=f_3553&mid=2210&aC=4214d7bf&jumpurl=12
An important part of our work is exposing the brutality of the occupation - in many languages. For regular updates "from the ground" in the Occupied Territories visit http://www.eappi.org/index.php?id=7869&rid=f_3553&mid=2210&aC=4214d7bf&jumpurl=13 - or visit the websites of our sending organizations in Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and the United States- [www.eappi-us.org].
As we enter this week of campaigning, we ask you to join us in prayer for justice and peace in the land of the Holy One.
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