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WCC Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel convenes annual meeting

The World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel convened its Annual Meeting on 12-14 April, to receive updates about the reconfiguration of the WCC’s Jerusalem-based activities as well as to make plans to be able to safely send Ecumenical Accompaniers back to the region to continue providing protective international presence for vulnerable Palestinian communities and to monitor and report on incidents of concern. 

WCC-EAPPI Easter initiative to follow the footsteps of Jesus, spotlighting current realities under occupation

While Christians around the globe prepare to celebrate Easter, military occupation continues to severely impact communities in the same places where Jesus himself is said to have walked in the Easter story. An Easter initiative by the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (WCC-EAPPI) now sets out to connect the Biblical narrative with current realities in Palestine and Israel, to spotlight the injustices of life under occupation.

Bedouins of Pope’s Hill fight eviction

East of Jerusalem, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, a Bedouin community has lived on Pope’s Hill since the creation of Israel in 1948, when they were evicted from their lands in the Negev and arrived there as refugees.

Will children ever have safe access to education in Khan Al-Ahmar?

Khan Al-Ahmar is a Bedouin community of around 200 people whose main livelihood has been traditional farming of sheep and goats for consumption in the village, and for selling the milk, yogurt and meat. The closest village, Bethany, is 14 km away and, until recently, the women would take the dairy products to sell in the Jerusalem market, 19 km away. The children had an important role in the economy, herding the flocks, but they also went to school.

East Jerusalem: Denied citizenship and the vote

The status of Jerusalem is disputed in international law and the main issue is around the largely Palestinian area of East Jerusalem. Israel announced, in 1975, that “unified Jerusalem” was the capital of the State of Israel, ignoring the rights and claims of Palestine. International humanitarian law recognizes East Jerusalem as militarily occupied by Israel. To understand some of the issues for residents in East Jerusalem, we spoke to Nivin Sandouka, who is part of the EAPPI international reference group and lives in At Tur, a Palestinian village on the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem.

Palestinian Christian peace worker yearns for courageous leaders

As the WCC olive harvest initiative in 2020 drew to a close in early December, WCC News met with Nora Carmi, a Christian Palestinian who has worked for peace and justice her whole life, to hear her perspective on the situation in the holy land today, and the role of faith in sustaining hope.

A hopeful, but not optimistic Palestinian ecumenist

With olive harvest season coming to an end, life under occupation returns to “normal” for Palestinian communities on the West Bank. Under that “normal,” which means forced displacements and constant fear of threats and harassments, now also looms a threatening Israeli annexation of large chunks of fertile land owned by Palestinian farmers – a move which would “undermine peace and justice and be in direct violation of international law,” according to a joint ecumenical statement by the WCC and other ecumenical organizations earlier this year.  

As olive harvest draws to a close, who is helping the farmers?

Olive farming should be a peaceful activity, but for many Palestinian farmers the harvest season is a time of tension, violent attacks, and destruction of precious olive trees. Farmers in the West Bank of the occupied Palestinian territories face a barrage of such threats from nearby Israeli settlers.