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CPTnet is the news service of CPT, providing daily news updates, reports, reflections, prayer requests and action alerts.

SOUTH HEBRON HILLS: Six homes, community oven destroyed in Um Al Kheir

On the morning of 27 October 2014, the Israeli military came with bulldozers to the Palestinian village of Um Al-Kheir and demolished six houses and a traditional bread oven (tabun).  The demolitions left thirty-one people homeless, including twelve children.  According to the villagers, the tabun had no demolition order, but the settlers from nearby Karmel settlement were trying to sue the community over its use, saying that the smoke from the fire that baked the bread generated health problems for the settlers.

During the demolition, Israeli police took two Israeli peace activists to the Kiryat Arba police station and arrested an international volunteer.  They released him later that night on the condition that he could not be in the West Bank for a period of two weeks.

Um Al-Kheir is a small Palestinian village in the South Hebron Hills, whose inhabitants are Bedouin refugees from Tel Arad in Negev, inside the internationally recognized boundaries of Israel.  The residents bought the land for the village in the 1950s.  In the 1980s, settlers established Karmel right next to the village and continue to confiscate land from Palestinians for its expansion.  The Israeli occupation authorities deny access to even the most basic infrastructure for the residents of Um Al-Kheir, who may not connect to running water or electricity, and must rely on solar panels and generators.

A video about the demolition is available here.

Prayers for Peacemakers, October 29, 2014

Prayers for Peacemakers, October 29, 2014

Pray for the families in Umm Al Kheir, Palestine and El Guayabo, Colombia who were made homeless this week.  The Israeli military demolished six homes in the village of Umm al-Kheir, leaving thirty-one people, including twelve children, homeless on 27 October.  On 29 October, riot police illegally evicted community members of El Guayabo, despite the fact that representatives of the Colombian government have said they have the right to remain on their land.

                                                                              Epixel* for Sunday November 2, 2014

Um Al Kheyr demolitions (1)10698481_748008208585648_3198763651215104780_n (1)
Umm al-KheirRiot police land in El Guayabo
 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth." 
                                                                           Matt. 5:4-5
  
 *epixel: a snapshot-epistle to the churches related to and appearing
with a text from the upcoming Sunday's  
Revised  Common Lectionary
 readings.
 

COLOMBIA URGENT ACTION: El Guayabo facing eviction tomorrow. Ask Mayor of Puerto Wilches to revoke illegal eviction order.

 

 
 Rodrigo López is escorted by ESMAD during the last eviction.

The community of El Guayabo in the municipality of Puerto Wilches has received information from a reliable source that the police colonel signed an illegal eviction order to be executed tomorrow, Wednesday 29 October 2014.  The proper authorities have not notified or made the community aware of the details of the eviction order and have not guaranteed the community the presence of the public defender as is mandated in cases such as these.  On Sunday 26 October, Mr. Rodrigo López and Mr. Jose Adelmo Caldas (identified by community members as an a ex-paramilitary) arrived with sixteen police officers in the community of El Guayabo, threatening eviction, although they brought with them no court order.

On 15 August, lawyers for the Colombian National Institution for Rural Development (INCODER) made it clear to the Mayor of Puerto Wilches that any eviction against the community is completely illegal as the land is currently under dispute in the federal court system.

Community members are understandably scared and angry.  Tomorrow will be the fifth eviction attempt in a series of irregular, illegal, and sometimes violent efforts to displace Guayabo farmers on claims of ownership by Rodrigo Lopez Henao.  The last eviction occurred on 26 June 2014, and involved Colombian riot police using tear gas and pepper spray and causing multiple injuries to community members.  In addition to eviction attempts, intimidation tactics have included unofficial visits by armed off-duty police and threats to community leaders.

Mayor German Duran is the highest local authority and has the power to intervene in this case.

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IRAQI KURDISTAN: What Does CPT Stand for?

CPTnet
27 October 2014
IRAQI KURDISTAN: What Does CPT Stand for?

By Latif Hars

[Note: Hars is a partner of the CPT Iraqi Kurdistan team from the Kurdish village of Gullan and was a member of the most recent Iraqi Kurdistan delegation.]

 1519559_754065714676669_1830305114361913162_o (1)
 October 2014 delegation on visit to Kurdish
 villages facing exploitation of land by
multinational oil conglomerates.

CPT is an international organization that works for peace and human rights.  CPT is valuable, especially in our world today, which is so full of conflict.  Some people believe that violence is the only solution to conflict, and beautiful cultures and ecosystems are the victims of these violent solutions.  People, animals, and plants are destroyed for the benefit of a small group of powerful people.  CPT should do more to search for the sources of violence, educate people about these sources, and publish this information for everyone to read.  If people do not develop violent solutions, then we can stop violence.

CPT should also plant in all people’s souls the willingness to apologize, and this will over time become part of our culture.  Planting this willingness is not easy work, but doing so will help us respect ourselves as human beings and have true freedom, where we are not divided by religion, culture, ideology, or racism.  We are all equal in our time on earth and our trip to the sky, and we have freedom in what we do.  

MEDITERRANEAN: Waiting for justice

 

 
 

Rabi’e, handcuffed on the wheelchair-stretcher
 next to the ambulance.
  

 Photo: © 2014 Ramyar Hassani, CPT Mediterranean 

Standing in solidarity with refugees is often fulfilling.  Here on the Greek island of Lesbos these people, mostly from Syria and Afghanistan, have escaped the threat of bombs, abduction, and hunger.  Usually, it feels really good accompanying them.  Usually.

But Monday was different.  We observed the trial of the Syrian boy, Rabi’e, who turned eighteen while in prison.  The coast guard arrested him, claiming that he was responsible for smuggling twenty-two people in a boat into Greek waters and for attempting to sink that same boat so that they would be rescued. 

The case was delayed from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., the translator did not show up, and another (poor) translator was appointed.

Because the trial took place in juvenile court, we were not permitted to attend the proceedings.  We waited with others in front of the glass doorsand watched the goings-on inside.  We learned later that the coast guard identified Rabi’e as the one who tore up a piece of paper in the boat with instructions on what to do in Europe and threw it in the water.  Six months after the fact, in the middle of night and at sea, they said could accurately identify him.  They said they retrieved the paper from the water and read it.  But the couldn’t produce this evidence in court, because seawater had damaged it irretrievably.