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March 26th, 2014

Prayers for Peacemakers, March 26, 2013

Prayers for Peacemakers, March 26, 2013
Pray for the families living near buildings in Al-Khalil (Hebron) that Israeli settlers have targeted for takeover.  Settler occupation of these structures will lead to sharp increases in hardships and violence for the neighborhoods in which they are located.

Click here for interactive map showing properties at risk for settler takeover.

See also AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Settlers and soldiers invade Al-Atrash family home twice in one day.

*Epixel for March 30, 2014

Armed settler leaving the Al Atrash family home with soldiers, March 20, 2014.
Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.  Ephesians 5:11
Photo by Raed Abu Rumaila
*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing with a text from the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common 
 Lectionary readings.

March 25th

SOUTH HEBRON HILLS: Settlers from Mitzpe Yair settlement attack Palestinian shepherds in Masafer Yatta during Purim

On Sunday 16 March 2014, during the Jewish holiday of Purim, Operation Dove reported that Israeli settlers attacked Palestinians and internationals on Palestinian fields near the outpost of Mitzpe Yair, which is adjacent to Firing Zone 918 in Masafer Yatta. 

A settler armed with an iron pipe began threatening four shepherds and their flock at about 9:00 a.m., then ran off when two more shepherds and two internationals arrived and began filming.  At 9:30, eight settlers arrived and began violently chasing the flocks toward the valley below the outpost.  Palestinians called the Israeli police, and another two internationals, members of the South Hebron Hills Popular Committee, and the representatives of the human rights organization B'tselem also arrived.

March 24th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Settlers and soldiers invade Al-Atrash family home twice in one day.

 




 Armed settler leaving the
Al Atrash family home with
soldiers, March 20, 2014. 
Photo by Raed Abu Rumaila

On 20 March 2014 at about 11:00 in the morning the Al Atrash family was hosting a group from FIDA (the Palestinian Democratic Union), who were visiting the neighborhood in solidarity with the families there, when eighteen Israeli soldiers and Border Police, accompanied by an armed settler kicked the unlocked door to announce their arrival.  The armed cohort then swarmed into the home without permission.  Only women of the family were home at the time, along with several small children.

March 22nd

COLOMBIA: Get ready for Days of Prayer and Action 5-7 April 2014

Every year, communities across North America come together in solidarity with our Colombia brothers and sisters in an effort to show policymakers that they want real change in U.S. and Canadian policy towards Colombia.  With the Colombian government and the largest guerrilla group, the FARC, currently engaged in peace negotiations, there is renewed hope for an end to the war in Colombia.  After five decades of unspeakable violence, forced displacements, widespread massacres, threats against unionists and human rights activists, and the economic and social exclusion of indigenous and Afro-descendant communities, let us join Colombians in saying it is time for peace.  This year's Days of Prayer and Action are April 5-7.

Directly translated, the word “adelante” means “forward.”  “Adelante” can also mean “ahead,” with the implied desire to move past the current situation to something further on, to something beyond.  Peace and justice are not static concepts and neither are the people of Colombia.  With one foot in front of the other, Colombians are already moving ahead and going forward in the work of peace and justice throughout the country.  We hope that you will use the resources below and join with the organizations, churches, and ordinary people in Colombia in their desire and action to move forward.

¡ADELANTE!  Peace with justice for ALL Colombians!

WORSHIP PACKET
Dedicate a worship service to peace with justice for all Colombians.  Included are prayers, songs, poems, stories, reflections, and more.  Click here for a bulletin insert to engage your congregati

 

Join our Colombian sisters and brothers
in moving peace forward!  This packet
includes three ways YOU can make a
difference. 
Advocate for a change in US
policy by writing letters to Congress.
Create a display or craft night and what
steps are needed to  finally bring peace
with justice to Colombia. Demonstrate your
commitment to Colombia with  a public action.




March 21st

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON) URGENT ACTION: Ask Israeli Defense Minister Ya’alon to stop creation of new settlement in Hebron




Soldiers enter the Al Rajabi building,
20 March 2014

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon will decide by 11 April 2014 whether Israeli settlers may move into the Al Rajabi building in the Palestinian neighborhood of Wadi Hussein.  If settlers take possession of the building, the impact of their presence and subsequent increased military presence will have severe humanitarian impacts for the surrounding Palestinian neighborhood.

Palestinian organizers working with the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee have asked that internationals contact the Israeli Defense Minister and their consulates and elected representatives, asking them to contact the office of the Defense Minister and state their objection to settler expansion into the Al Rajabi building on humanitarian grounds.

On the afternoon of 20 March 2014, about twenty soldiers arrived at the Al Rajabi house and moved luggage and food into the building, while a settler sat parked in a car in front of the building.  A neighbor two buildings away reported that on the previous day, he received a stop work order from soldiers for work he is doing to improve his house, and the owner of a nearby barbershop reported that during the night on the previous week settlers damaged the doors to his shop.

March 20th

IRAQI KURDISTAN/COLOMBIA REFLECTION: Damn Tree

 

[Note: Parwen Aziz is a Kurdish woman living in Iraqi Kurdistan.  She is currently participating in the first CPT training in Iraqi Kurdistan.  She knows firsthand the effects of governments exploiting villagers in the quest  for oil revenue.  She wrote this reflection after a role-play depicting the consequences for Colombian farmers when large corporations take their traditional farmland to plant oil palms, which can produce alternative fuel sources for automobiles. ]

Damn Tree
The cycle of life has been reversed.  Trees defeat the earth.  I do not like to say your name, Oil Palm.  Scents of gunpowder and pictures of distressed mothers because of a damn tree.  When I first heard your name and learned how your fruit could be squeezed and the juice used as a replacement for petroleum oil, I rushed to interrupt my teacher.  “How can we bring this tree to Kurdistan?”  I wondered.  I wanted the response to be that we could import this miraculous tree to our country.  I wanted this to be a substitute for oil so that all warfare, extermination, and destruction over the black substance will not happen to humankind ever again.  But, alas, all my dreams and imaginations were destroyed when I perceived that this tree caused just as much destruction.  This damn tree causes thousands of Colombian families to become fugitives from their homes.  Thousands of families have become low-paid workers in their own fields.

I became depressed when I heard a story of a widow with her son.  They were working in the heat for three months, planting, tending, and harvesting their corn.  All their efforts were fruitless and wasted.  Someone set the pile of corn on fire and the products were burned.  They were left with nothing to feed the children.  I heard her say, “Take as many pictures as you can, take photos of everything here so that the whole world will know of what happened to us.”  War and oppression pivots around corrupt governments and capitalism.  The core point is that the capitalists get a lot of money and they become rich and richer, while the workers and needy people remain poor and disappointed.

Las Pavas writes to President Santos regarding continued attacks on their community

The Farmers Association of Buenos Aires (ASOCAB) yesterday delivered a letter to President Juan Manuel Santos summarizing the continued attacks and threats received by the community of Las Pavas.  They appealed to him,  “Mr. President, you have shown your commitment to victims.  By virtue of this commitment we come to you, with the hope that the State would indeed act in our favor and avoid the repetition of incidents that victimize us.”

The community restates their commitment to “peacefully insisting”— despite attacks by palm oil company, Aportes San Isidro´s armed security—that the law provides the means to their complete ownership and right to the land.  In spite of winning the National Peace Prize in November and being re-recognized by the government agency that manages  reparations to victims, Unidad Nacional de Atención y Reparación Integral a las Víctimas, the attacks and threats against the community continue.

As recently as 6 March, at 7.15 pm, under the cover of complete darkness,  the palm oil company’s guards threw bricks into the living areas of homes and onto roofs, creating dents.

 

See reflection on the damage caused by the palm oil industry written by Parwen Aziz, who is currently participating in the Christian Peacemaker Team training in Iraqi Kurdistan.

March 19th

Prayers for Peacemakers, March 19, 2014

Prayers for Peacemakers, March 19, 2014

Pray for the upcoming CPT Europe delegation in April, which will focus on the violence and injustice refugees and migrants face on Europe’s outer borders.  Pray also for the families of the seven migrants who drowned last night when the boat they were sailing on from Turkey sank in the Aegean Sea.

March 17th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): CPT introduces H-2 schoolchildren to the red hats


CPT has been visiting classrooms at schools within the H-2 area of Hebron in March, and introducing them to the work of CPT.   H-2 is the area of Hebron under full Israeli military control, and many of the children must walk through checkpoints to reach their schools.  They have also, in recent months had to face sound bombs and teargas during clashes at the checkpoints just before and after school

 CPTers let the children know why the people with red hats are at the checkpoints near their schools each morning, what they stand for, that they are there to help and that the children can trust CPTers will do their best to make sure the children will stay safe.

March 14th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Israeli soldiers invade Palestinian elementary school

 


On 4 March, approximately thirty Israeli soldiers entered the Qitoun neighborhood from Checkpoints 29 & 209, provoking stone throwing from schoolboys.  At one point, half the forces entered a Palestinian schoolyard and began using stun grenades and tear gas on local children and passersby.   Palestinian teachers prevented the soldiers from actually entering the school building.  Soldiers shot canisters in front of the school building and detained three boys under the age of twelve. They later released the boys because they had no pictures of them throwing stones on their cameras.

 CPTers have witnessed increasingly aggressive soldier behavior towards schoolchildren during morning school patrols at military checkpoints in the Old City of Hebron.  Qitoun neighborhood is home to five schools, including two military checkpoints.  On 6 March, CPTers had to carry kindergarteners out of range of the teargas that had incapacitated them.

These military interventions violate the Right to Education (Article 28) from the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  CPT records the number of students, teachers, and detentions near these checkpoints as children attempt to make their way to school safely.  CPT also documents physical threats, book bag searches, and tear gas use on children.