|Settlement of Ma'ale Adummim|
Angela says "There never can be peace unless the settlers leave."
We drove a few miles down the road to the poor Bedouin village of Jahalin, which is struggling to survive against settler harassment and ongoing threats of forced displacement. What a contrast!
|Eid Abu Hamis|
With international help, the community has built a beautiful school from tires and mud, and installed some solar panels to supplement its generator for electricity. Obviously they would like to stay where they are, but their days may be numbered. Eid says the High Court has temporarily blocked the army's order to displace them to Jericho, but it could be reinstated and carried out at any time. "If you take a Bedouin out of the desert, you kill him."
We learned more about refugees and internally displaced persons from BADIL, the Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights. Amjad Alqasis told us that last year the Army destroyed one village 22 times, but the Palestinians kept rebuilding it because they had nowhere else to go. He says Israel has a "silent transfer policy," displacing a few hundred people at a time so as not to call attention to it.
Amjad sees signs of hope: people are using the term "apartheid" to describe the situation more and more, and South Africa, Denmark, and Sweden have started labeling products made in illegal settlements. He thinks the boycott, divestment, and sanctions movement is critical for ending the occupation.
|Rev. Mitri Raheb|
Mitri's church is the base of the Diyar Consortium, which serves the whole Palestinian community with emphasis on children, youth, and women.
This was our last visit with the Interfaith Peace-Builders delegation. Tomorrow I am off to visit a Palestinian Christian family in northern Israel.