A group of ecumenical accompaniers serving from 15 April – 23 June found that the number of human rights violations keeps increasing. The most recent group of accompaniers reported 863 violations, whereas about one year ago, accompaniers reported 301 violations. This represents a 186.4% increase.
“People are facing such difficult living conditions,” explained Jack Munayer, outgoing coordinator of the WCC Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel. “The ecumenical accompaniers are here because people value what we do.”
As he looks back on the many groups of ecumenical accompaniers he has overseen, Munayer noted that patterns of violence and harassment in communities do change over time. “The numbers of human rights violations—that tripling of incidents—is really hard to comprehend as the situation is rapidly changing,” he said. “We are really concerned about it, and the communities are really concerned about it.”