Archive

March 14th, 2014

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.

March 13th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Palestinian property rights under attack; setters attempt multiple land-grabs in Hebron

The Al-Rajabi building.
Photo EAPPI

Settlers have won a victory in their ongoing attempt to grab land for a new settlement in Hebron.  On 11 March 2014 the Israeli Supreme Court agreed to hand over the Al-Rajabi building in the Old City of Hebron to settlers, despite the devastating humanitarian impacts of the decision on Palestinians living in the neighborhood.  The Hebron Rehabilitation Committee (HRC) has appealed to the international community to speak out against this violation of Palestinian property rights, and to use all means available to prevent the creation of a new settlement in the Old City of Hebron.

Settlers claimed ownership of Al-Rajabi house on 19 September 2007, when a group of them stormed into the building in the middle of the night.  In November 2008, the court found that the settler’s purchase documents were forged and evicted them, placing the building under military control pending a final decision.  In reaction, Hebron settlers set fire to Palestinian homes, farms, olive trees, and vehicles in the area.  Six Palestinians were injured, two with live ammunition.  On 11 March 2014, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that the Palestinian owner of the building must, against his will, accept payment from Israeli settlers of the amount specified in the forged sale documents.  

March 12th

Prayers for Peacemakers, March 12, 2014

Prayers for Peacemakers, March 12, 2014

Pray for the families of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada, and for the Canadian authorities to begin taking violence against Indigenous women seriously.

ABORIGINAL JUSTICE: Listening for the voices of missing and murdered Indigenous women

March 11th

COLOMBIA: Apply now for CPT Colombia’s Organized Labour Delegation 17-31 May


Our May delegation should be especially appealing to those involved in organized labour.  Colombia continues to be the most dangerous place on earth for trade unionists.  Participants in this delegation will meet with public and private sector union leaders, as well as organized informal sector self-employed workers.  Activists in all three groups are threatened because of their efforts to protect workers’ rights and livelihoods.

Participants will also spend some time in north-east Antioquia—the state/province hardest hit by anti-labor violence—where they will be hosted by our partner, human rights organization CAHUCOPANA, and learn about its grassroots struggle to promote and defend the human rights of campesino farmers, artisanal miners, and organized labour.

Participants will also learn about how the Canadian and U.S. “free trade” agreements with Colombia have adversely affected Colombian and North American workers’ rights.

Apply now!  Share this information with your coworkers!  Help protect your own jobs and stop the wage race to the bottom, which causes the brutal repression of Colombian rights and those of other workers in the global workforce.  Get your own labour union involved by sponsoring representatives for this delegation.




 

 

 

 

Help us promote this delegation by downloading, printing, and posting posters at your place of work, play, recreation, or worship:


 
POSTER
 
POSTER ALTPOSTER ALT
POSTER ALT
 
The posters can be printed in Black and White if you do not have access to a colour printerfor more info email delegations@cpt.org

March 10th

ISRAEL/PALESTINE: New Israeli legislation favoring Christians seeks to divide Palestinian community

The Rev. Dr. Naim Ateek
(Photo: Tree of Life)

On Monday, February 23, 2014, the Israeli Knesset enacted a new law that recognizes Muslim and Christian Arab communities as separate identities, giving them their own representation in an employment commission.  The law passed by a margin of 31 to 6.

The new law passed by the Knesset favoring Christians is, to say the least, a deceitful political stunt by Likud-Beiteinu members aimed at sowing seeds of division among Christians and between Christians and Muslims.

For the last sixty-five years, the government of Israel has not shown favoritism or bias towards the Christian community of the land, so why now?

March 8th

BORDERLANDS: Disturbing the Peace in Arivaca, Arizona

CPTnet
28 February 2014
BORDERLANDS: Disturbing the Peace in Arivaca, Arizona

 The tiny town of Arivaca, population 600, is nestled in the rugged hills of southern Arizona about eleven miles north of the international border between Mexico and the USA.  This cattle-ranching area is “rich in history and natural beauty” and claims to be “the oldest continually inhabited townsite in Arizona” according to the visitor’s guide.

But someone is disturbing the peace in Arivaca.  Border Patrol agents carrying guns and wearing olive green uniforms stop all vehicles, including school buses loaded with children, at checkpoints blocking both ends of the community.  Giant surveillance towers with cameras, radar, and motion detectors protrude from the desert floor in the distance.  Drones hum and helicopters hover in the clear blue sky overhead.

“It’s like living in a war zone,” said Arivaca resident Eva Lewis.  “We can’t leave our community without being asked a bunch of questions,” chimed in Carlota Wray who’s lived in Arivaca for 33 years.



 
  

March 7th

ABORIGINAL JUSTICE: Listening for the voices of missing and murdered Indigenous women

According to reports by the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), there are roughly 600 known cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada, many of them unsolved.*  Loretta Saunders, an Inuit woman from Labrador whose family reported her missing on 13 February 2014, is one of the latest.  The RCMP discovered her body along a New Brunswick highway on 26 February.  That Saunders was in the middle of finishing her PhD in Halifax— on Canada’s missing and murdered Indigenous women—makes her death particularly harrowing, yet each of these women’s deaths is reprehensible.

CPT attended the ninth Annual Strawberry Ceremony honoring missing and murdered Indigenous women on 14 February, when over 200 people gathered at the downtown Toronto police headquarters for a rally and march.  Many individuals in the crowd held up signs bearing names, dates, and occasionally photos.  Several dozen people carried black silhouette-style signs cut in the shape of women's profiles, with names in white lettering on one side, and dates—usually preceded with the word “murdered”—on the other.



March 5th

Prayers for Peacemakers, March 5, 2014

Prayers for Peacemakers, March 5, 2014

Pray for the community of Guayabo, Colombia, which successfully resisted an eviction in November, but still fears the intervention of illegal outside armed actors.

Erik Yesid Payares, 32, a leader for the community of Guayabo, asked CPT’s Colombia team to publicize the following request this week:  â€śIt is important to us that this problem is made known.  We are humble people of peace and small farmers.  We live in a critical situation under threat.  We ask that you help us and not abandon us.”’

 

Epixel* for 9 March 2014

if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday.
Isaiah 58:10

*epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing with a text from
the upcoming Sunday's Revised Common Lectionary readings.

March 4th

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): February ends with arrests of children in the Old City

On the evening of 28 February 2014, soldiers arrested eight Palestinians on Shalala Street—six of them appeared to be under sixteen, and two were clearly younger than twelve.  Soldiers took the boys into the military base at Bab el Baladiya at the entrance to the Old City and after approximately an hour, the soldiers took all them away in military jeeps.

The arrests bring the total of child arrests and detentions documented by internationals working in Hebron during the month of February to eighteen. This number by no means reflects the total number of arrests and detentions of Palestinian children by Israeli forces in the city.

Some of the detentions witnessed have been relatively brief, including incidents where soldiers took children from residential streets or the market, walked them some distance, compared them to photographs or interrogated them in the street, then released them. Sometimes soldiers take children into military bases or to military police stations and question them there. Sometimes they arrest them in their homes and sometimes they hold them overnight.

 





March 3rd

IRAQI KURDISTAN REFLECTION: Voices of small people—the story of Dana Jamal

On 12 October 2012, in the Sharazur District of Iraqi Kurdistan, twelfth grade student Dana Jamal decided to skip his sports class to study for his upcoming exam. In earlier years, the school planners decided that schoolyard trees were not necessary, leaving students to seek the shade of an eight-foot high stone wall. The government authorities decided not to listen to voices calling for repairs to dilapidated school buildings. Dana paid the price when the boundary wall fell on him as he intently read his book.


One of Dana Jamal's fellow students tells
about the day he died

In 1988, Saddam Hussein ordered many new construction projects in the Kurdish region, including Halabjai Taza, or “New Halabja” to prove to the international community that the reports of chemical bombing were greatly exaggerated. Now, the school buildings that he had ordered to be built in a hurry are cracking and falling apart.

For the past year, Dana’s family has pleaded for someone to take some responsibility for the tragic accident. However, everyone refuses to do so and blames others.  The Ministry of Education is currently appealing the court’s decision that holds it responsible.