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October 22nd, 2015

Prayers for Peacemakers, October 23, 2015

Prayers for Peacemakers, October 23, 2015

Pray for the people of Palestine and Israel, especially for the truth-tellers, human rights defenders and peacemakers who are under assault by the forces of the Israeli military occupation.

*Epixel for Sunday, October 25, 2015 

Hebron settler posters calling for violence against human rights activists
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD rescues them from them all.
He keeps all their bones; not one of them will be broken.
Evil brings death to the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.
Psalm 34:19-22
*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): Bloody Saturday—the Occupation murders three young people and arrests me for taking an Instagram photo.

sraeli forces and a settler shot dead three Palestinian young people on the streets of Hebron on Saturday 17 October 2015: Bayan Ayman Abd al-Hadi al-Esseili, 17, Fadil Qawasmi, 18, and Tariq Ziyad al-Natshe, 20.  And I was arrested for taking an Instagram photo two weeks earlier.

With three youth killed  and settlers literally celebrating in the blood of Fadil Qawasmi, executed by a settler, it is perhaps little surprise that those with cameras slung over shoulders are increasingly coming under threat.

Israeli forces and a settler shot dead three Palestinian young people on the streets of Hebron on Saturday 17 October 2015: Bayan Ayman Abd al-Hadi al-Esseili, 17, Fadil Qawasmi, 18, and Tariq Ziyad al-Natshe, 20.  And I was arrested for taking an Instagram photo two weeks earlier.

With three youth killed  and settlers literally celebrating in the blood of Fadil Qawasmi, executed by a settler, it is perhaps little surprise that those with cameras slung over shoulders are increasingly coming under threat.

Sitting in a cold room for hours, without access to a lawyer, I watched my beloved camera slammed on a table. Meanwhile, authorities at the base told my colleague I was not there. One of my photos, I was told, rendered me a threat to the ‘security of Israel.’

An Instagram photo? Me? A threat to one of the most powerful states in the world? The threat here? The truth.

Cameras indicate that – Occupation – we are watching you, we are documenting you, we are here, and we see you. We see Palestinian blood running on occupied streets in Hebron. Indeed, I dropped my camera lens cap in Hadeel Hashlamoun’s a few weeks earlier.

October 19th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): A week in photos 8-14 October 2015

 

Ambushed and Arrested 

Pictured here: Omar, aged 12, was one of two boys ambushed by Israeli border police and arrested for stone-throwing. Soldiers roughly handled them and dragged the boys to the police station, who were crying and pleading the whole way.  Soldiers would not allow CPTers to take the boys names so they could notify their families. Their mothers eventually arrived, and one of them rode with the boys when they were transferred to another police station. Police released them after a couple hours, and CPTers were informed that one of them was slapped around by the Border Police. 
 

October 16th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): No safety for Palestinian children walking to school in Hebron


In the first ten days of October, Israeli forces fired more than 143 teargas canisters, as Palestinian children walked to and from school, as well as five stun grenades, from two military checkpoints (approximately 0.3 miles apart) in the H2 section of Hebron. On two of those ten days, Israeli forces also fired rubber-coated steel bullets into a crowd of children (one killed 13 year-old Ahmad Sharaka near Ramallah this week). Two Palestinian children in this area were hospitalised as a result of excessive teargas inhalation on their walk to school on 12.10.15.

In the past week, Israeli forces ambushed and arrested two boys aged 11 and 12 after school on 13.10.15 (see video and full account here). Article 37 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, states that child arrest is in clear violation of human rights law. 

The presence of school children does nothing to deter the Israeli military from this relentless use of teargas, stun grenades, rubber-coated steel bullets, detention and arrest.  They are entirely preoccupied with a collection of those children, occupied, harassed and humiliated their entire lives, throwing stones at the heavily armed grown men occupying checkpoints and rooftops.

October 15th

CPT trainees demand independent investigation into Afghan hospital bombing

“The U.S. cannot investigate itself.”

“While you’re shopping, bombs are dropping.”

These were some the core messages Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) conveyed through signs and chants on 9 October 2015 when it marched through the streets of Chicago, demanding an independent investigation into the hospital bombing in Kunduz, Afghanistan by the United States armed forces. On 3 October, the U.S. military carried out a bombing raid on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, resulting in twenty-two deaths, including ten hospital staff and twelve patients.  Doctors Without Borders is requesting an independent investigation into the bombing from the International Humanitarian Fact-finding Commission (IHFFC).

Members of CPT gathered on Friday outside of the British Consulate in downtown Chicago dressed in blood-spattered hospital attire and carrying a black coffin to symbolize the deaths at the hospital in Kunduz.   Alicia R from London delivered a letter to the British Consulate urging the British government to request an investigation by the IHFFC.  Only a member country can request such an investigation.

As the march started, chants of “while you’re shopping, bombs are dropping” and “bombing hospitals is a war crime,” echoed through the streets.  At several intersections, members of the group dramatized the bombing by falling in the middle of the street as another marcher hit them with a sign shaped as a bomb that had the letters, “USA,” on it.

The procession stopped at the Canadian Consulate where two Canadian citizen trainees had a meeting to urge the Canadian government to also request an investigation by the IHFFC. During the meeting, other members held vigil outside. They sang and handed out information about the bombing to passers-by.

The march concluded at the US Federal Building where Kody Hersh from Philadelphia, PA and Douglas Johnson Hatlem from Chicago, IL knelt in front of the main doors preventing access as they prayed. Federal security locked the doors and rerouted pedestrian traffic, while CPT members and other supporters held a prayer vigil in memory of the innocent lives lost in Kunduz, Afghanistan. 

As of Sunday 11 October, no member country has yet requested an investigation from the IHFFC and Doctors Without Borders continues to speak out against the hospital bombing.


.http://www.msf.org/article/msf-kunduz-attack-ihffc-awaits-us-afghanistan-consent-proceed-independent-investigation

October 14th

Prayers for Peacemakers, October 14, 2015

Prayers for Peacemakers, October 14, 2015

Pray that civil war will not break out in Iraqi Kurdistan. The government has not paid civil servants’ salaries for three months.  Demonstrations across the region have left five dead, and dozens injured, and dozens detained by the secret police. The ruling KDP party has forced the Gorran (Change) party to leave the government and the capital. The majority of those who demand changes to the current situation do not condone violence. They call for the changes to come through non-violent means. Pray that those voices and actions prevail.

 

October 9th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): A week in photos 1-7 October 2015

A Week of Clashes 

Pictured here: An image from clashes at the major checkpoint separating Shuhada St. from the downtown area of Hebron. Daily clashes have continued week throughout Palestine, including Hebron, as physical violence has escalated. 

(07/10/2015)

October 7th

Prayers for Peacemakers, October 7, 2015

Prayers for Peacemakers, October 7, 2015

Pray that the nation of Canada will repent of its cruelty, and stop denying 169 First Nations communities access to clean drinking water.

*Epixel for Sunday, October 10, 2015 
 
 5:7 Ah, you that turn justice to wormwood, and bring righteousness to the ground!

5:10 They hate the one who reproves in the gate, and they abhor the one who speaks the truth.

5:11 Therefore because you trample on the poor and take from them levies of grain, you have built houses of hewn stone, but you shall not live in them; you have planted pleasant vineyards, but you shall not drink their wine.

5:12 For I know how many are your transgressions, and how great are your sins-- you who afflict the righteous, who take a bribe, and push aside the needy in the gate.
 
 *epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing  with a text  from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.

October 6th

COLOMBIA: Two big reasons for celebration, two opportunities for prayer

 

A Las Pavas farmer looks for his name on the roster.Community members rotate
  turnsin guarding the communal house which has been attacked multiple
 times over the last few years. 

We rarely get opportunities to update you about positive developments. These last two weeks though, have brought the kind of news that inspires us.  News that promises  that one day peace may arrive in Colombia, that just maybe, justice will be done, and mercy shown.  Apart from political or judicial developments that once in a while turn in favor of the communities we accompany—that allow us to celebrate— we listen to stories of children, women and men to who despite life threatening risk, chose dignity; these are the people, the stories, and acts of courage that give us hope.

Earlier this week, the Constitutional court amended the Agrarian Law propelling forward about two hundred land cases around the country. Las Pavas, a farming community that we accompany, will benefit greatly by this decision granting them access to return to their land. Today, out of more than a hundred and fifteen families only twenty-four live on the farm, the rest live in a state of continual displacement. Up to this day since their return in 2011, after three displacements—once in 1996 by Emilio Escobar, uncle of the infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar, the second time by the AUC (Self-Defence Forces of Colombia), a highly organized and brutal paramilitary group, and in 2009 by a corrupt local Police inspector, whose eviction order the Constitutional court overturned— the community continues to suffer attacks to their person and property by armed guards or thugs hired by the palm oil company, Aportes San Isidro. Read about the court’s ruling to understand why this is so significant in their process, and why we celebrate. We'll take every small bit.   Read here >>

 

 

 
Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia shakes hands with Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri, or more popularly known as Timochenko, the Supreme Commander of the FARC-EP as Raul Castro, President of Cuba, the brother of Fidel Castro encourages them. Luis Acosta/AFP/Getty Images

On 24 September,  the image above dominated the news all around Latin America, you might have even seen it on your local media outlet. The day before, in Havana, Cuba, the Colombian Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—People's Army (FARC-EP) agreed to the last of the six agenda items, concerning Transitional Justice after three years of negotiations. Both parties have committed to signing the final agreement and implementing the accord within six months. This will bring an end to one dimension of fifty years of armed struggle. Here are some articles that further explain the agreement.

October 5th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): CPT-Palestine September Newsletter 2015

 
The day after Hadil was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers, the Hebron community marches to her funeral in public lamentation.
 

Hadil: Palestinian teenager fatally shot in Hebron

 

Hadil (18) was shot dead by Israeli forces at Shuhada checkpoint in occupied Hebron on 22 September. Hadil was a member of a Palestinian family from the H1 region of Hebron, and was in her first year as a student at Hebron University. It was as she was passing through one of the many checkpoints of occupation in H2 Hebron - checkpoints that divide one Palestinian neighborhood from another - that Hadil was so brutally killed.