Life in a West Bank city
In what might be described as a "timely meeting", this month's guest speaker, Ian Cave, described scenes he'd witnessed earlier this year in the city of Hebron in the West Bank. He spent 3 months there as part of a mission with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI). Ian's presentation, illustrated with slides and video clips, conveyed the daily challenges experienced by Palestinians living in this divided city.
Wire netting is employed to catch the barrage of stones and other missiles hurled towards Palestinians and their properties. Children have to pass through checkpoints on their way to and from school, sometimes finding their homeward route barred. With the collapse of the local economy, daily some 10,000 men are obliged to pass through checkpoints and turnstiles, all within a 2 hour period, in pursuit of paid employment. Within Hebron Israeli civil or military law (depending on the part of the city) dictates movement and penalties for any contravention; shops and other businesses can be closed by order; Palestinians may not drive and are permitted only to walk part of the streets.
Is it a surprise that this is "chipping away" at the resilience of the city's inhabitants? The efforts of Peace Organisations and Human Rights Defenders from all sides appear to be able to achieve little in the face of this regime of separation and violence. EAPPI stands in solidarity with local human rights activists, advocates an end to military occupation and adherence to humanitarian international law. Read more about EAPPI at https://www.eyewitnessblogs.com/.