Palestine

Applies to CPTnet releases from Palestine projects

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Palestine team begins accompaniment of kindergarteners near Ibrahimi Mosque


The Red Crescent Kindergarten School is fully equipped for the four-year-old children who will begin their education: carpeted floors, multiple roomsfor playing and learning, as well as all the supplies needed to teach and entertain children. Most importantly, the school has caring teachers dedicated to their young pupils.

In 2000, the kindergarten had ten teachers and ninety students, but now only has three teachers and fifteen students. The school is in a particularly vulnerable location: immediately adjacent to the Ibrahimi Mosque and the Tomb of the Patriarchs, which is surrounded by Israeli Border Police. Due to constant soldier and settler harassment, parents in the nearby neighbourhoods are hesitant to send their children to the school. In response to this harassment and the effect it has had on the school children, the principal of the Red Crescent Kindergarten asked CPT to begin escorting the children to and from school.

One form of structural violence that the four-year-olds must face on their way to school is a divided path by the Ibrahimi Mosque. On one side of a tall fence is a wide, paved path for Israeli settlers, and on the other is a narrow, rocky path for Palestinians.  Israeli Border Police have recently begun to deny these kindergarten students the right to walk on the “settler path.”

Prayers for Peacemakers, 25 February 2015

Prayers for Peacemakers, 25 February 2015

Pray for the people of Hebron.  25 February 2014 marks the twenty-first anniversary of the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre, when a U.S.-born Israeli settler murdered twenty-nine Muslim men and boys while they prayed there. The Israeli military killed and injured dozens more Palestinians in the demonstrations that followed, imposed a strict 100-day curfew, and, among many more punitive responses on the Palestinian population of Hebron began a process that led to illegally restricting them from accessing Shuhada Street.  This week, there will be several nonviolent demonstrations protesting the closing of Shuhada Street. Pray for the safety of demonstrators, as Israeli soldiers will likely respond with tear gas, sound bombs, and violent arrests. Pray for the safety of all people in the Old City, as Israeli military oppression brings collective punishment to shop owners, families, and young children. Pray for the CPT Hebron Team who will be in the demonstrations.

 *Epixel for Sunday, March 1, 2015
 For he did not despise or abhor the affliction of the afflicted; he did not hide his face from me, but heard
when I cried to him. Psalm 22:24
 
 *epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing with a text from the upcoming Sunday's  Revised Common Lectionary  readings.

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): First of Open Shuhada Street actions kicks off on 20 February 2015

 

Despite the heavy snow and the cold weather, Palestinians of Hebron gathered on Friday 20 February to remember those killed in the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre and demand the opening of Shuhada Street.

On 25 February 1994, Baruch Goldstein, a US-born Israeli settler, walked into the Ibrahimi Mosque and murdered 29 men while they prayed.  Israeli forces killed an additional 29 Palestinians during demonstrations, and subsequently restricted Palestinian access to Shuhada Street, a major market street in the Old City.  Shuhada Street has been permanently closed to Palestinians since 2006.  Palestinians in Hebron live with the effects of these actions every day.

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): They uproot a tree
we plant ten

On 3 February 2015, community members planted ninety olive trees next to the Qurtuba School in the Tel Rumeida neighbourhood of Al-Khalil (Hebron), located between Israeli settlements. The Palestinian Association for Voluntary Work planned the action, also involving the Hebron Defense Committee, Hebron Rehabilitation Committee, the Ibrahimi Khalil Society and Administration of Youth. Students from at least two universities were there, including the Al-Quds Open University in Hebron and the American School of Palestine in Ramallah. Participants wore T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan for the action, “they uproot a tree
 we plant ten.”

This plot of land formerly belonged to a local family, who transferred it to the school after settlers uprooted the trees that used to grow there, six years ago and three years ago. Local residents are aware that settlers will attempt to undo the work of the planting. However, the action demonstrates the determination of the community to remain in their homes and neighbourhood. A community leader said, ‘We are staying here, and the settlers must move.’

Palestine: Occupation Captured

CPT Palestine has published a photo essay with ten images juxtaposing absurdity, sanity, obscenity, and serenity in Occupation.

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Israeli military’s use of teargas, rubber-coated bullets forces schools to close

Over the course of two days last week, the Israeli military’s response to a few boys throwing stones toward the Qitoun/209 and Salimeh/29 checkpoints was so excessive the principals of the seven schools near those checkpoints canceled school for the hundreds of children that attend those institutions. On 10 December at checkpoint 209, through which 183 children and fifty-two adults passed from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m., the teargas was so potent from two teargas canisters fired by Israeli border police that a twelve-year-old boy who opened a window at the school andinhaled the teargas—fired approximately 250m away—suffered extremely adverse effects.  Teachers called an ambulance and decided to close the school to avoid more harm to children from the gas.  An ambulance came after approximately twenty-five minutes, delayed by the physical obstacles of occupation such as checkpoints and the apartheid laws governing Palestinian vehicular access in H2 Hebron.  A CPTer who was there said, “sitting with and attempting to soothe the boy, who was scared, unable to breathe properly, and unable to open his eyes, broke my heart.”

AL KHALIL (HEBRON): Israeli settlers stab Palestinian boy on his family’s land

Moad Al Rajabi after
receiving treatment at
hospital

On 8 December 2014, Israeli settlers attacked seventeen-year-old Palestinian boy, Moad Al Rajabi on his family land in Bani Naim, on the outskirts of Al-Khalil/Hebron.  He was sitting with his father, Noah Al Rajabi, and two of his cousins when settler cars stopped nearby.  As seven settlers exited the cars and came towards them, Noah ran away with his two nephews, believing that his son was also with him.  He soon realised his son was not there, and turned to see seventeen-year-old Moad encircled by the settlers. 

The seven were stabbing Moad, but fled as Noah ran back in a bid to rescue his son from the assault.  Moad required hospitalization to treat the stab wounds, one of which penetrated to the bones in the hand; the other was on his thigh.  He is now stable, and the hospital hopes to discharge him later today. 

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Israeli military attacks nonviolent demonstration protesting closure of Checkpoint 56

At a demonstration to protest the closure of Checkpoint 56 in Hebron on Saturday 29 November 2014, a torrent of teargas and sound grenades rained down from Israeli forces, who were occupying rooftops above Bab iZaweyya.  Leading onto the small section of Shuhada street on which Palestinians are allowed to walk, Checkpoint 56 connects Bab iZaweyya (the commercial district which marks the boundary between Israeli-controlled H2 and Palestinian Authority governed H1 areas) to the neighbourhood of Tel Rumeida.  Last week the checkpoint was set on fire during clashes, and the checkpoint has been closed by Israeli forces ever since.  This act of collective punishment forces the families living in Tel Rumeida walk an extra hour—or that they walk through the residences and gardens of other Palestinians—to reach their own homes.  These families therefore organised a nonviolent demonstration to protest this closure because it is another example of the daily harassment and routine restriction of the rights and movement of Palestinians living under occupation.

Video footage of the demonstration taken by CPT is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hhfv9sz8xh0&feature=youtu.be

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) REFLECTION: Practicing gratitude in the middle of it all

Around the world today, non-profits, NGOs, families, businesses, community centers, and individuals around the world come together for one common purpose. Christian Peacemaker Teams is here in Hebron in solidarity with local partners whose safety, homes and livelihoods are threatened by the Israeli military occupation. Will you contribute $55 today for #GivingTuesday? With just 365 people giving $55 each, we can cover the cost of one peacemaker in the field for a year. #BeTheChange

Just $55 supports a peacemaker in the field for a day. 

Thousand-year-old olive tree overlooking the
city of Hebron.

In the U.S., the end of November means the celebration of Thanksgiving.  Here in Hebron, we may sometimes ask:  For what can we possibly be thankful? We see teargas lobbed at children regularly, men and boys detained daily, frequent harassment of Palestinians.  Violence.  Hopelessness.

It is in places like Hebron where we must practice gratitude, where we must not let the bad that we see eclipse the good—that, against all odds—abounds.  For how can we possibly harness and share goodness if we are unable even to recognize it around us?

And so we, the current CPT Palestine team, offer the following—the places and times where light breaks through darkness, where hope conquers hopelessness, where love wins over hatred, fear, and apathy: 

CPT INTERNATIONAL REFLECTION: Treasure in Ferguson, Colombia, Palestine, Iraqi Kurdistan, and Turtle Island

Since a St. Louis, Missouri prosecutor and Grand Jury have determined that Police Officer Darren Wilson killing unarmed teenager Michael Brown did not merit a trial, I have been busy tweeting #Ferguson on the Christian Peacemaker Team Twitter account.  Those tweets have been getting a lot of retweets.  We have no people working in Ferguson and I have asked myself why I am inundating the account. 

I think it has to do with the disposability of human life, with the contempt shown to Michael Brown when the authorities left his body in the street for four and a half hours and did not bother interviewing key witnesses to the shooting for weeks (until there was a public outcry.)  That contempt connected directly with our work in Colombia, Iraqi Kurdistan, Palestine, with indigenous communities in North America, and with migrants in Europe.  In all these cases, people in power have deemed the people we work with disposable.