Archive

January 30th

PALESTINE: Israeli settlers, accompanied by Border Police, break into house near il-Ibrahimi Mosque

On 23 January 2014, two Israeli settlers, accompanied by three Israeli Border Police broke into a room of the derelict al-Sharif house near the il-Ibrahimi mosque.  They used electric tools as well as picks and the Border Police appeared not only to be protecting them, but also offering advice about how to enter the derelict building as well as cross over the roof of the structure to get to the Gutnick Center.

PALESTINE: Israeli settlers, accompanied by Border Police, break into house near il-Ibrahimi Mosque

On 23 January 2014, two Israeli settlers, accompanied by three Israeli Border Police broke into a room of the derelict al-Sharif house near the il-Ibrahimi mosque.  They used electric tools as well as picks and the Border Police appeared not only to be protecting them, but also offering advice about how to enter the derelict building as well cross over the roof of the structure to get to the Gutnick Center.

January 22nd

PALESTINE REFLECTION: Why they should stay

 

staff and students of Khirbet al-Majaz school

The complete teaching staff and student body of
Khirbet al-Majaz school

In 1999, the Israeli military administration forcibly expelled 900 people and destroyed their homes within an area it calls Firing Zone 918.  Only after residents petitioned the Israeli High Court did it grant a temporary injunction in 2000, allowing them to return.

Life for Palestinian communities in the area has worsened because of Israeli settlement expansions.  The Israel military administration continues to demolish new houses and buildings or deliver stop work and demolition orders to those in the process of construction.  Israeli settler violence has already caused the abandonment of two villages, Al-Kharoubeh and Khirbet Sarura.  Another two communitiesā€”Tuba and Jinbaā€”continue to suffer Israeli settler attacks, which the Israeli military almost never prevents.  And in 2012, the Israeli military re-started their military manoeuvres in the area...

January 20th

COLOMBIA: Displaced leader returns to community

On Friday January 10th, Salvador AlcĆ”ntara, pastor and leader for the community of El Garzal and Nueva Esperanza, and his family returned to their home.  Paramilitary threats forced pastor Salvador and his family to leave El Garzal in June of 2013.

After 7 difficult months away from family and church community, Salvador glowed with joy as he and his family unloaded boxes and swept away cobwebs.  ā€œI am thrilled to be homeā€ he said over dinner with his children and grandchildren,  ā€œnow I really feel freeā€

January 17th

PALESTINE REFLECTION: On stone throwing and strategies

 

Soldiers preparing to fire tear gas on boys throwing stones about 100 meters away 

Soldiers preparing to fire tear gas on boys
throwing stones about 100 meters away

 

Years ago in our Hebron apartment, we had a foam cushion insert on which someone had drawn a smiling face.  Dubbed ā€œHappy Foam Square,ā€ we would throw it at a wall when our work got frustrating, and doing so was surprisingly cathartic.

So in a small way, I understand why throwing stones feels good.  I also understand, when I see the posters of small boys throwing stones at tanks, that their actions are brave.  I understand why the narrative of an occupied people resisting one of the most technologically advanced militaries in the world with rocks and Molotov cocktails is a source of pride in some circles.

But monitoring clashes in Hebron has always been one of my least favorite things to do, because we have almost no impact on the situation,  so little strategy is involved on the part of the Palestinian boys throwing things, and because the consequences for them can be dire.

January 13th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Orchard leveled at Tel Rumeida for settlement expansion

On 5 January 2014, CPTers learned that a bulldozer had begun to level a large tract of almond orchard the previous evening for the expansion of the Tel Rumeida settlement complex.  Two CPTers visited with Hani Abu Haikel, long-time CPT partner, on 7 January to learn more details

According to Abu Haikel, his family has held a 99-year lease, of which twenty-five years are left, on the orchard that was demolished to create the outpost.  The Abu Haikels had originally leased the land from the Bajaio family, Palestinian Jews whose family the Abu Haikels sheltered during the Hebron Massacre in 1929.  Then they leased the land from the Jordanian government, which occupied the area after 1949, and the Israeli government after 1967.  The Israeli government has blocked the lease Abu Haikelā€™s family holds on this area in order to allow the settlers to continue construction on this new, outpost.  Police arrested Abu Haikel and his cousin on 5 January for being in a ā€˜closed military zoneā€™ when they asked by what right the settlers were destroying their mature almond trees.  The police then banned the two men from going within 250 meters of the site.

January 11th

COLOMBIA REFLECTION: A Christmas Vigil in El Garzal

Vigil at El Garzal

It was a Christmas perhaps more akin to that first one in Bethlehem than the ones I am used to in Canada. No fancy lightsā€”no electricity except for a diesel generator that gets used occasionally at night. No Christmas tree, nor gifts under it. No alcohol. No turkey. And, thankfully, without the cacophony of extremely loud music around our house here in Barrancabermeja, where neighbours set up humongous competing sound systems in front of their houses to celebrate the season.

Our main reason for visiting was to accompany Garzal's twice-displaced leader and pastor, Reverend Salvador AlcƔntara and his family, so they could spend Christmas with family and loved ones in Garzal. Salvador and his family had to leave the area again last May because of death threats. They miss Garzal very very much! Salvador described the feeling of being back, albeit for only three days, as like being re-born.

January 8th

CPT INTERNATIONAL: Twelve Peacemakers of Christmas, part 2

 

 9Muneco
 levels of cuteness may vary

Completing the list of peacemakers we honour this year with six more courageous and committed peacemakers!

Part 1 here; see the CPT Facebook Page for complete profiles.
#WeAreGrateful

AFRICA GREAT LAKES: Doing peace in our countries

Cliff Kindy with nonviolent workshop participants in DRCIf you fled a war zone for your safety, would you voluntarily choose to return to that zone of violence? A church in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) chose to do so. Self-identified as Church of the Brethren (COB) this group of eight congregations and about eight hundred members felt a call to return to their communities as bridge builders and peace makers despite the dangers. The peace churches attracted them because of the emphasis on living alternatives to war and violence. They previously held a trauma care training with the Friends in the Africa Great Lakes Region because trauma is endemic in the DRC, where six million people have been killed since the 1990s.

January 6th

EUROPE: A bold new step for CPT in Europe

in:

Alihas made the perilous journey to Europe twice. After the first time, when he was only in his teens, he was deported back to Afghanistan ā€“ where he knew nobody, since he grew up as a refugee in Iran. He resolved to come back to Europe, and this time to stand up for his human right to stay.

During the third annual European CPT Convergence in Malmƶ, Sweden, in May 2013, Ali, now in his mid-twenties, invited CPTers and supporters to join him in solidarity. He announced that refugees in Sweden were organizing a one-month protest march to demand fair treatment and the right to build their lives without the threat of deportation. He invited CPT to accompany the march. Although it was short notice, several reservists were able to respond to this call.