Archive

February 26th, 2015

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Palestine team begins accompaniment of kindergarteners near Ibrahimi Mosque


The Red Crescent Kindergarten School is fully equipped for the four-year-old children who will begin their education: carpeted floors, multiple roomsfor playing and learning, as well as all the supplies needed to teach and entertain children. Most importantly, the school has caring teachers dedicated to their young pupils.

In 2000, the kindergarten had ten teachers and ninety students, but now only has three teachers and fifteen students. The school is in a particularly vulnerable location: immediately adjacent to the Ibrahimi Mosque and the Tomb of the Patriarchs, which is surrounded by Israeli Border Police. Due to constant soldier and settler harassment, parents in the nearby neighbourhoods are hesitant to send their children to the school. In response to this harassment and the effect it has had on the school children, the principal of the Red Crescent Kindergarten asked CPT to begin escorting the children to and from school.

One form of structural violence that the four-year-olds must face on their way to school is a divided path by the Ibrahimi Mosque. On one side of a tall fence is a wide, paved path for Israeli settlers, and on the other is a narrow, rocky path for Palestinians.  Israeli Border Police have recently begun to deny these kindergarten students the right to walk on the “settler path.”

February 25th

Prayers for Peacemakers, 25 February 2015

Prayers for Peacemakers, 25 February 2015

Pray for the people of Hebron.  25 February 2014 marks the twenty-first anniversary of the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre, when a U.S.-born Israeli settler murdered twenty-nine Muslim men and boys while they prayed there. The Israeli military killed and injured dozens more Palestinians in the demonstrations that followed, imposed a strict 100-day curfew, and, among many more punitive responses on the Palestinian population of Hebron began a process that led to illegally restricting them from accessing Shuhada Street.  This week, there will be several nonviolent demonstrations protesting the closing of Shuhada Street. Pray for the safety of demonstrators, as Israeli soldiers will likely respond with tear gas, sound bombs, and violent arrests. Pray for the safety of all people in the Old City, as Israeli military oppression brings collective punishment to shop owners, families, and young children. Pray for the CPT Hebron Team who will be in the demonstrations.

 *Epixel for Sunday, March 1, 2015
 For he did not despise or abhor the affliction of the afflicted; he did not hide his face from me, but heard
when I cried to him. Psalm 22:24
 
 *epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing with a text from the upcoming Sunday's  Revised Common Lectionary  readings.

February 24th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): First of Open Shuhada Street actions kicks off on 20 February 2015

 

Despite the heavy snow and the cold weather, Palestinians of Hebron gathered on Friday 20 February to remember those killed in the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre and demand the opening of Shuhada Street.

On 25 February 1994, Baruch Goldstein, a US-born Israeli settler, walked into the Ibrahimi Mosque and murdered 29 men while they prayed.  Israeli forces killed an additional 29 Palestinians during demonstrations, and subsequently restricted Palestinian access to Shuhada Street, a major market street in the Old City.  Shuhada Street has been permanently closed to Palestinians since 2006.  Palestinians in Hebron live with the effects of these actions every day.

February 23rd

COLOMBIA REFLECTION: Justice favors the powerful


It was my second accompaniment since I began work in Colombia. Tito had been on the receiving end of a severe beating two years ago and was headed down the river to El Peñon for a court hearing of his case. As we settled into the community boat that would take us to El Peñon, an hour and a half away, Pierre filled me in on Tito’s case with the comment, “It’s crazy, really. If it was Tito who beat them up, he’d already have been tried and sentenced.”

As much as I know that this is true, and accepted it as he said it, a little piece of me still felt surprised. Why should this be true? When I consider the principle of the law, everything feels clear cut to me. If one person assaults another, the perpetrator must face the legal consequences of those actions, regardless of who they are. Why should the process change, become longer or shorter or more or less vigorous? The law is clear: physically and violently assaulting someone is wrong. Why, if this were Canada…

And it is this thought that stops me in my tracks, because I know that the reality of a broken justice system is true both here in Colombia and in my own country. The law favours certain people in both places. It favours the influential, the rich, those with resources.  Above all, it favours the powerful, be it power of connections, money or skin colour.

February 20th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): They uproot a tree…we plant ten

On 3 February 2015, community members planted ninety olive trees next to the Qurtuba School in the Tel Rumeida neighbourhood of Al-Khalil (Hebron), located between Israeli settlements. The Palestinian Association for Voluntary Work planned the action, also involving the Hebron Defense Committee, Hebron Rehabilitation Committee, the Ibrahimi Khalil Society and Administration of Youth. Students from at least two universities were there, including the Al-Quds Open University in Hebron and the American School of Palestine in Ramallah. Participants wore T-shirts emblazoned with the slogan for the action, “they uproot a tree… we plant ten.”

This plot of land formerly belonged to a local family, who transferred it to the school after settlers uprooted the trees that used to grow there, six years ago and three years ago. Local residents are aware that settlers will attempt to undo the work of the planting. However, the action demonstrates the determination of the community to remain in their homes and neighbourhood. A community leader said, ‘We are staying here, and the settlers must move.’

February 18th

Prayers for Peacemakers, February 18, 2015

Prayers for Peacemakers, February 18, 2015

Pray for Las Pavas community in Colombia. Pray for the land and crops of these campesinos (farmers) that are under the threat of Aportes San Isidro palm oil company. The company has installed fences within the campesinos land, creating physical obstacles that impede their access their own lands. Pray that the Collective Reparation Process that the Colombian government has offered this community as a way to compensate victims of the armed conflict becomes an immediate reality. Pray for the campesinos that work the land and allow us to have food on our tables.  

C:\Users\Josea\Descargas\10947287_794958550557280_254505241177004365_o.jpg

Photo: Aportes San Isidro palm oil company has installed this gate five times, even after municipal authorities have declared illegal and removed it. Somehow, the gate has been put back time after time. Follow this link to learn more about this situation

“But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” (Luke 8:15)


January 30th

Prayers for Peacemakers, January 30

Pray for the people of Iraqi-Kurdistan and Palestine, this winter has been particularly hard and there are thousands of people living in refugee tents under extreme weather conditions. Pray for a more gentle weather for all of them. Pray also for the Palestinian children in Al-Khalil, who returned to school last week. During the month of December, the Israeli Army threw 172 tear gas bombs and 19 stun grenades to children while they were walking to school. The Israeli occupation and its violence are threatening Palestinian children’s right to education. Pray for these two nations.  

January 26th

ISRAELI military welds shut Palestinian homes

CPTnet 26 January 2015 HEBRON, Palestine On the morning of 19 January, Israeli forces welded Zuheira Hashem Dundes front doors shut. Her family hasowned these two houses for centuries, and she still lived in one of them. Now her belongings are sealed inside her house, and she must live in her son's house across the street. The houses are located on Shuhada Street, most of which is closed to Palestinians. These women are some of the only Palestinians still living on Shuhada Street, making this act even more significant.

January 16th

Prayers for Peacemakers, January 16th 2015

Pray for the Palestinian people. They are subjected everyday to extensive controls by the Israeli Army, as a consequence they cannot walk with freedom in their own land, and they have to modify their schedules regarding school, work and spare time based on these controls. Let us pray together for our Palestinian sisters and brothers, that they are not subjected anymore to this violation of their basic rights.  

 Palestinian.Woman

Photo: Israeli forces continue the policy of checking nearly everyone that passes through checkpoint 56 in Hebron. The checkpoint passes from one Palestinian neighborhood to another. Imagine not being able to walk your streets without harassment from an occupying army?

“The Lord is my light and my salvation -whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life -of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27: 1)

January 10th

Palestine: Occupation Captured

CPT Palestine has published a photo essay with ten images juxtaposing absurdity, sanity, obscenity, and serenity in Occupation.