Sophia's Peace Work

Friday, August 05, 2005

Update from me and the Christian Peacemaker Team in the Old City of Hebron

I'm running around trying to get everything ready for my trip to Canada and the U.S. I leave tomorrow with 12 Iraqis from my organization and various universities around Iraq for one month ... first to the INTECOL conference in Montreal (and a follow-up study tour of marshes in Canada ... the last day features a trip to Niagara Falls ... the Iraqis will love that!). I will then travel on to stay a week with my parents and another week (featuring a Tai Chi Retreat) with my friends back in the U.S. Most of the time I need to continue my work though ... when I come back to Amman, I have a 22 Iraqi and regional environmental NGO's descending upon Amman for a meeting that I'm organizing for Nature-Iraq ... busy, busy, busy!

And from the sound of this post from the CPT Team in Hebron ... the Israeli Military has been busy too. The CPT apartment in Hebron is located in this new "prison" along with many, many Palestinian families. As the news is filled with stories of the Gaza pull-out (which may or may not happen), Israel is quietly tightening the noose on many Palestinian communities in the West Bank ... most likely planning on expanding settlements there in violation of all their past agreements.

Closing the Gates to the Old City of Hebron
By JoAnne Lingle - August 5, 2005

HEBRON-On August 3, 2005, the Israeli Military installed five iron gates on the main entrances to the Old City of Hebron. The previous week, a locked iron door was installed at a tunnel entrance near the Beit Romano checkpoint. The only remaining access to the old city is the checkpoint. The old city has become a de facto jail with Israeli soldiers holding the key to the door.

"Citizens of the Old City are now locked into their houses and wondering how to get into and out from the city and how they will have a life!... by sealing all its entrances and exits, the Israeli authority are aiming at evacuating the old city from its original inhabitants by making their lives impossible,... giving more space and free hands for the settlers and their enclaves in the Old City. With this action, the Old City of Hebron (has) become like a big prison." (Hebron Rehabilitation Committee press release, 3/8/2005)

CPT urges individuals and organizations to pressure the Israeli government and international community to alleviate the oppression of the Palestinian residents imposed by this closure of the Old City of Hebron.

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