Palestine

AL KHALIL (HEBRON)| “Welcome to the Crossing”-The Beginning of Checkpoint Privatization

In April 2019, three major checkpoints (Bab al-Zawiyeh / 56, Salaymeh / 160, and Qitoun / 209) in the Old City of al-Khalil (Hebron) were surrounded with wooden planks and large signs saying, “Welcome to the Crossing” in Arabic, Hebrew, and English. The Hebron Municipality has shared a concern that these developments are likely a starting point for the privatization of these checkpoints. The danger of the Israeli military authorities turning over these checkpoints to the private security sector is that the Israeli authorities will regard them as official border crossings between two countries, and not as part of the daily route of Palestinians living in one city.

PALESTINE | The Old City Transforms For A Day

As I* was preparing to suddenly come to Hebron, I started to do some research about the city. One of the things that I took notice of is that Hebron is the largest city in the West Bank in terms of population and size. However, had I not read that fact before arriving, I would have thought someone was joking with me. When I first walked through the Old City, the Ibrahimi Mosque, and into the rest of the H2, I felt like I was walking into a ghost town.

PALESTINE | A brave school principal; a brave woman

We were monitoring the Salaymeh checkpoint on a cold morning. Two soldiers, fully armed and wearing masks, walked passed the checkpoint and went up on the roof of an adjoining building. As children started making their way to school, the two soldiers came down and started moving towards the school area. Ofer, a settler who shows up daily at the checkpoint to harass children and human rights monitors, made his daily appearance.

Palestine: The Camera as a Lifeline

The neighbourhood of Tel Rumeida is located in the H-2 zone of Hebron, an area exclusively under Israeli military control.  An Israeli military base lies nearby currently operated by the Israeli Givati brigade. The unit largely serves to provide backup for Israeli settlers who have taken over many Palestinian homes and buildings in the area and consolidated the occupied property into two major settlements. Despite these incursions, 240 Palestinian families remain in the area trying to survive.

PALESTINE: Remembering Rachel Corrie and facing the future

In 2003, when the Hebron team heard that the Israeli military had crushed Rachel Corrie to death with a Caterpillar bulldozer, the news hit all of us hard. Some of us had conducted nonviolence trainings for the first waves of International Solidarity Movement volunteers that had poured into Palestine to address violence of the Second Intifada.  These volunteers had included Corrie, and Tom Hurndall who was shot and later disconnected from life support, as well as Brian Avery, also shot and permanently disfigured.  Most of us had at one time or another stood in front of a bulldozer or had friends who had stood in front of bulldozers in an effort to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian home.  Israeli soldiers and police had roughed us up, detained us or arrested us.  Until Corrie died, I don’t think we believed that soldiers would run us, our friends or the Palestinian homeowners over.

Prayers for Peacemakers  20 March 2019   Palestine

Please pray for a quiet day of remembering the martyrs here in Al-Khalil (Hebron) on 24 March, because any time Palestinians gather in prayer Israelis in Hebron perceive it as an act of terror.  Pray that agents of the Occupation allow people to gather, remember their dead, pray together, and depart back to their homes in peace without incident. Shalom, salaam, Godwilling. Amen.  

Prayers for Peacemakers 20 February 2019

Please pray with intention and focus for peace to prevail upon the community in al-Khalil (Hebron) this Friday, February 22nd, 2019. This is the anniversary weekend of the 1994 massacre in the central mosque here. The anniversary is remembered with a demonstration of grief by some, and re-celebrated as a victory by others, therefore the possibility of clashes is increased at this time. May peace prevail. Amen.
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