Building partnerships to transform violence and oppression.

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Israeli military and settlers close down Old City of Hebron to Palestinians

An Israeli settler screams at young Palestinians in the court yard of
the Old City of Hebron.

Every Saturday a group of Israeli settlers and Jewish tourists, escorted by dozens of Israeli soldiers, parade through the Old City on a tour, in which they hear an exclusive rightwing Jewish narrative of the city's history.  Last Saturday, however, was a holiday commemorating Abraham’s purchase of land in Hebron to bury his wife Sarah, so an unusually large number of Israeli settlers, Jewish tourists (many from New York), and Israeli border police and soldiers were present.  For nearly three hours, hundreds of Israeli settlers and occupying forces overtook the Old City, restricting Palestinians' freedom of movement and causing shops to close early. 

While a normal Saturday tour means restriction of Palestinian movement and disruption of the lives of those living and working in the Old City, last Saturday’s holiday tour created greater disruptions.  The Ibrahimi Mosque was closed, which meant that not only could Muslims not pray there, but that the checkpoint leading to it was closed.  When the checkpoint is closed, Palestinians have to take much more circuitous (and hilly) routes from one side of the mosque to the other, adding time and difficulty to daily tasks.

The settlers and tourists, many of whom were young men, danced, jumped, and chanted Israeli nationalistic slogans as they slowly made their way through the Old City, blocking passage for residents and creating noise that interfered with any sense of normalcy.

As CPTers and representatives from other NGOs stood along the route, settlers and tourists questioned them, sometimes aggressively, about their presence and work and accused them of anti-semitism.  One tourist threatened to hit a CPTer; another asked a CPTer to take a picture and then threatened to break the camera (which he'd already tried to handle as he passed by).  A number of tourists said to observers, "Welcome to Israel," though no country in the world recognizes the Palestinian Occupied Territories as part of the nation of Israel.

Upcoming CPT Events

Title Start: End:
Palestine/Israel Delegation Sat, 11/29/2014 Sun, 12/14/2014
CPT European Convergence 2015 Tue, 05/12/2015 Sun, 05/17/2015

Video Introduction

 

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About CPT

Partnering with nonviolent movements around the world, CPT seeks to embody an inclusive, ecumenical and diverse community of God's love.  We believe we can transform war and occupation, our own lives, and the wider Christian world through:

  • the nonviolent power of God's truth
  • partnership with local peacemakers
  • bold action

CPT places teams at the invitation of local peacemaking communities that are confronting situations of lethal conflict.  These teams seek to follow God's Spirit as it works through local peacemakers who risk injury and death by waging nonviolent direct action to confront systems of violence and oppression. 

CPT understands violence to be rooted in systemic structures of oppression. We are committed to undoing oppressions, starting within our own lives and in the practices of our organization.

Featured CPT Partner

“Women are the only ones able to transform the world with reason and heart.”
“You are not born a woman; you learn to be one.”

The Organización Femenina Popular started in 1972 to defend life and human rights by empowering women to transform and reconstruct their social reality. They train and mobilize grassroots women to build projects of life while resisting all forms of violence -- economic, social, cultural, civil, and political. They do not respond to pressure from the state or illegal armed actors and are not subordinate to authority. They defend their autonomy as women with rights.

CPT’s Work: CPT has partnered with the OFP since the Colombia project began. The OFP provides direction for CPT’s international accompaniment work. CPT accompanies leaders of OFP who are threatened by armed groups, and CPT Colombia participates in OFP public actions.