Archive

August 2nd, 2017

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) A week in photos July 25- August 1

 

Hebron Settlers Occupy Palestinian Home

 
Pictured here: Israeli settlers supported by Israeli soldiers, Border Police and Israeli Police illegally entered a home owned by the Abu Rajab family which is close to the Ibrahimi Mosque and next to  Al Fayhaa girls school in Al Khalil (Hebron)  Read more. Settlers have been evicted on two previous occasions, the last time being in 2015 when they failed to show the Israeli Civil Administration proof of ownership.  If the settlers are successful in this attempt to take permanent possession of the house it will almost create a complete encirclement of the Old City of Al Khalil by settlements.
A Palestinian family of sixteen which includes eight children under fifteen years live on two floors of the building and have been subjected to violence whilst trying to move in and out of their home. The area was declared a Closed Military Zone and at this time it is not known if that order has been lifted.


(July 25, 2017)

August 1st

CPT Mediterranean: Urgent Action Request from Lesvos

CPTnet
1 August 2017
CPT Mediterranean: Urgent Action Request from Lesvos - Please share the information and join a 24-hour fast in solidarity with Behrooz Arash who is at risk of death

by CPT Mediterranean/Lesvos

Behrooz Arash is dying. He sent a voice message to CPT members on Lesvos in which he said that his skin was falling off his body. We have been worried about his situation for a long time. The body gets damaged after the loss of 10% of the body weight. Behrooz has lost far more than that. He weighed 60 kilograms when he started his hunger strike 35 days ago. The last time he was checked, he weighed only 44 kilograms. That happened last week. We expected the police to respond to the demands from the doctors, the lawyers and others to take both Behrooz Arash and Kozhin Hussein to hospital. However the police kept them in jail. We expected them to care about the survival of the hunger strikers, that they would value their lives, but we were wrong. Until this very moment, they are locked inside a cell and prevented by the police to receive medical care or vitamins. They are in this critical situation without any medical support.

Three men on a hunger strike holding banners: My life has value

July 31st

PALESTINE: What would you risk for peace?

CPTnet

31 July 2017

PALESTINE: What would you risk for peace?

by Rachelle Friesen 

In April 2017, more than 1,600 Palestinian political prisoners went on a hunger strike. As I write this article, strikers have refused food and have been drinking only salt water for the last 31 days. They are protesting being held without charge or trial, medical negligence, poor treatment and the lack of family visits. The strikers are putting their bodies at risk to nonviolently protest their treatment; many are experiencing severe fatigue, malnutrition and dizziness.

Throughout Palestine, people are rising up in support of the hunger strike. Nonviolent resistance to the policies of occupation are not new. When I lived and worked in Palestine with Mennonite Central Committee, part of my job was to accompany and support the nonviolent resistance. Every week, activists would protest against the separation barrier in various villages around the West Bank, and every week those same activists were faced with violent repression from the Israeli military, who used tear gas, sound bombs, rubber-coated-steel bullets, live ammunition and beatings by soldiers. 

While putting their bodies in danger, they also risked arrest. At the Nakba demonstration in 2015, Mazzen Al Azzah, a friend and nonviolent activist, was arrested. When he was released, it was on the condition that he would not attend any more demonstrations. When I asked him what he was going to do, his response was, “I will go. I am not afraid. This is part of the struggle.”

Palestinian man

July 28th

Prayers for Peacemakers, 28 July 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 28 July 2017

Prayer for participants of the 48th CPT's training for peacemakers.

Eleven peacemakers from Brazil, Uruguay, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany and the USA are training in Chicago, USA to become members of the Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT). This one-month-long training is an intense time for those who are discerning their future with the organization. Trainees explore their personal and group strengths and challenges, share deep emotions and experiences and learn new skills needed for the work and life on one of the teams of CPT. The training days are long, busy, tiresome, and filled with stress as well as joy.

Let us pray for the trainees: their emotional and physical well-being, health and resilience as they continue to grow, experience and internally transform. Let us give thanks for their commitment to building partnerships that transform violence and oppressions. Let us also hold in our prayers the trainers and members of the administrative team of CPT who are accompanying and supporting this training in Chicago. Let us also remember when we pray the five peacemakers from Palestine, Nigeria, Philippines, Pakistan and Netherlands who oppressive structures and personal and health emergencies prevented from being able to come and take part in this training.

Chicago Training team poses in front of a banner "50 years od suffering - US-Israeli occupation of Palestine

On 21 July training participants alongside CPT members and supporters carried out a public witness action to encourage consumers to stop buying products that supoort occupation of Palestine.

July 27th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) A week in photos July 18-24

A week of occupation in photos: July 18 - July 24
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"Day of Rage"

Pictured here: Two Red Cresent Society ambulances wait to transfer injured to hospitals as clashes erupted across the occupied West Bank on the Day of RageJuly 21, 2017.  Palestinians are protesting new Israeli security measures at the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif complex. In Hebron, Palestinians gathered at the Hussein Stadium for Friday prayer. Following prayer, CPT witnessed clashes that erupted from Bab al-Zawiya, and reached the area of the Hebron governmental hospital. CPT observed Israeli soldiers who took over the roof tops of several Palestinian homes and turned them into temporary military posts, where the soldiers shot tear-gas, rubber-coated bullets, and live ammunition at Palestinians.
 
 (July 21, 2017)

July 24th

GREECE REFLECTION: The Tree with the Ten Fruits; conversations with a boy named Sina at Pikpa.

CPTnet

24 July 2017

GREECE REFLECTION: The Tree with the Ten Fruits; conversations with a boy named Sina at Pikpa. 

by: Rûnbîr Serkepkanî

Sina does not believe in the standardized definition of things. His mind does not comprehend standardized frameworks. He understands life as flowing — flowing into dreams, trees, animals and seas. He is passionate about planting. Outside his family’s house he has sown dozens of flowers, herbs and other plants in little pots. Once I was sitting on the bench outside the office. And he came up to me with one of them. “I planted this!” he says, “I love planting”. Chicki, one of the dogs of the camp, is present, and Sina tries to feed Chicki with the plant. Chicki is not really interested.

After he sailed to Athens with his family for his interview at the asylum office, he came back full of new impressions and ideas about things. He trots past me once riding on a stick. “Is that your new horse, Sina?” I ask him. He stops and wipes the sweat from his brow with his arm. “No, it is not,” he said, “It is my new train”. Then he approaches me. “We went to Athens by ferry. The ferry was so big. We went to the top of the ferry and the sea was all around us,” he exults. “How was Athens?” I ask. “Athens is too crowded. We went by train. It is like a big snake which goes under the ground. We went inside it and it took us all the way to my uncle's place,” he replies. “I have to get on my train again,” he finishes. Then he rides off aboard his train.

Lesvos

July 20th

Prayers for Peacemakers, 20 July 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 20 July 2017

Pray for freedom and protection for three young men at risk of deportation from Lesbos, Greece, who have been on a hunger strike for over three weeks.

Today, we would like to carry in our prayers Amir Hampay from Iran and Hussein Kozhin and Aresh Bahroz from Iraq who Greek police has held in detention for nearly three months while preparing to deport them from Lesbos. Amir as a political freedom activist faces decades of imprisonment, torture and, very likely, an execution by hanging, if returned to Iran. 23 days ago the three friends began a hunger strike. They ask for political protection and reversal of the deportation order. Their health condition is deteriorating.

In act of solidarity and love, Amir's brother Arash Hampay has also begun a hunger strike in a public square of Mytilene, the capital of Lesbos. Today marks the 22nd day of his hunger strike. Arash asks for a release of his brother and friends.

CPT Mediterranean team on Lesbos accompanies Arash. Other people, including the CPT team on Lesbos, are also joining in solidarity with Amir, Hussein and Aresh by doing a symbolic 24-hours-long fast.

Please consider joining as well.

Arash and a woman holding pictures and a solidarity banner

July 19th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) A week in photos July 11-17

A week of occupation in photos: July 11 - July 17
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Prayers Controlled 

Pictured here: Several Palestinian women, children, and men wait to be allowed access through a checkpoint that leads to al-Ibrahimi Mosque for Friday noon prayers in al-Khalil. Many seeking to pass through were subject to body searches, ID checks, and bag searches, typical of the control Israeli Occupying Forces (IOF) have over the Old City and al-Ibrahimi Mosque. Though Palestinians experience this control every week, tensions were particularly high due to the events in Jerusalem earlier that morning: three Palestinian men and two Israeli Police officers had been killed at the al-Aqsa Mosque, resulting in Israeli forces closing the al-Aqsa compound for Friday prayers and thousands of Palestinians being denied entry to pray. Al-Aqsa was not reopened until Sunday, and only with the addition of metal detectors at the gates and much of the Old City in Jerusalem still closed. Many Palestinians responded by refusing to enter through the metal detectors and praying in the streets instead. 

(July 14, 2017)

July 17th

PALESTINE REFLECTION: Three stories of throwing

CPTnet

17 July 2017

PALESTINE REFLECTION: Three stories of throwing

by Kathy Moorhead Thiessen

In March 2017, I spent 10 days in Hebron and observed three throwing situations that showed a microcosm of the occupation in that Palestinian city. Hebron, a major city in the southern West Bank, is where some 800 Jewish settlers, protected by hundreds of Israeli soldiers, have moved into the old city, among the Palestinian population.

I was there with Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) a faith-based organization that has teams in Colombia, Iraqi Kurdistan, Canada and Hebron, Palestine. The Palestine team, which began in 1995, supports Palestinian-led, nonviolent, grassroots resistance to the Israeli occupation and the unjust structures that uphold it. Some of their activities are documenting the treatment of school children passing through military checkpoints and of Palestinians going to Friday prayers at Ibrahimi Mosque. CPT team members also attend to calls from Palestinian families who are harassed by Israeli settlers.

Shuhada Street in Hebron, once a vibrant market road that is now forbidden to all Palestinians, was the route for a parade marking the Jewish festival of Purim. Israeli settlers were welcome to walk there. Music, laughter, costumes and much wine added to the celebration, as they commemorated the courage of Queen Esther and the buffoonery of the evil Haman.

Israeli soldiers are arresting a Palestinian boy

Photo: Israeli Border Police detains a Palestinian boy who threw a stone at the reinforced checkpoint.

July 13th

Prayers for Peacemakers. 13 July 2017

Prayers for Peacemakers, 13 July 2017

Thanksgiving for the suspension of eviction and prayers for further protection of El Guayabo community.  

Two weeks ago the CPT Colombia team asked for a worldwide prayer support for the El Guayabo community that CPT has accompanied since 2013. The local municipal court issued an order to evict 11 out of 150 families from the land that has sustained their lives for over 30 years. Today, we would like to express our joyful gratitude for the wonderful news of the seemingly impossible turning into reality. Just days before the scheduled eviction, which appeared to be inevitable, the Inspector General and Public Advocate offices in Bogotá warned that the human rights of the residents of El Guayabo would be at high risk of violation, and thus on the basis of the Colombian constitution suspended the eviction.

Let us celebrate with the members of El Guayabo community that they are able to breathe more freely now. Let us give thanks to the Almighty for bringing about this miracle. Let us hold members of El Guayabo in our prayers as they continue the process of resistance and liberation from the local armed actors who want their land and will likely plan to retaliate.  

Read more about this joyful victory of El Guayabo.   

El Guayabo people stand with banners

Photo Credit: Marcos Cualbonk.