Home / Press Releases / Israeli Settler Attacks Eccumenical Accompanier In Hebron

Israeli Settler Attacks Eccumenical Accompanier In Hebron

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

World Council of Churches – News Release

A member of the World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) was attacked by a woman settlerIn the Tel Rumeida district of Hebron on Friday, 23 June. Whilst in the area of the Cordoba school, where Christian volunteers accompany children to school, Duduzile Masango, a South African ecumenical Accompanier was attacked by an elderly settler woman, who pulled a towel tightly around her head.

It is not known if the woman intended to suffocate her, but the accompanier had difficulty breathing. Stones were also thrown at Masango and four other internationals who were with her. The incident left her shaken, although she did not need to receive medical treatment.

Although a soldier was standing next to the group of volunteers, he did not act to stop the attack. After the incident, members of the international solidarity movement who had witnessed the incident filed a complaint with the police. However, Masango was told by the police that they did not believe her testimony.

Rifat Kassis, EAPPI international programme coordinator, stated: “This is just one in a long line of incidents targeting internationals in Hebron. The WCC continues to advocate that all settlers in Hebron be withdrawn and settler-occupied properties be returned to their Palestinian owners. A letter was sent to the Israeli ambassador in Switzerland in April, following similar incidents. It requested appropriate actions by the Israeli authorities and law enforcement agencies to stop this behaviour toward Palestinians and internationals. The WCC has so far received no response.”

On 1 April, a Swiss lawyer, was stoned by a young Israeli settler in the same Hebron district, and on 20 April still in Tel Rumeida, a German social worker and a Norwegian sociologist were attacked by some 15 young settlers. TheSwiss lawyer needed seven stitches for a head wound as a result. In both cases, the Christian volunteers were escorting Palestinian pupils of the Cordoba Girls School to protect them from harassment by settlers. The WCC presented a formal protest to the Israeli ambassador in Switzerland over these two incidents on 25 April.

A team of four ecumenical accompaniers escort Palestinian pupils of the Cordoba School to protect them from harassment by Israeli settlers. The school is situated opposite the Beit Hadassah settlement. Its pupils and teachers are frequent targets of stone-throwing, kicking and spitting by the settlers.

Coordinated by the WCC, the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) began in 2002, and has deployed nearly 300 accompaniers from 14 countries. Its purpose is to support Palestinians and Israelis working for peace by monitoring and reporting violations of human rights and International humanitarian law, offering protection by accompanying local communities in daily activities, and by advocating with churches for a peaceful end to the occupation.

See also the 26 April 2006 press release referring to the earlier attacks and the WCC protest: click here

Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI)
website:
http://www.eappi.org

The WCC and Palestine/Israel:

http://wcc-coe.org/wcc/what/international/regconcerns-palestine-israel.html

Additional information: Juan Michel,+41 22 791 6153 +41 79 507 6363
[email protected]

World Council of Churches – News Release
Contact: +41 22 791 6153 +41 79 507 6363 [email protected]

The World Council of Churches promotes Christian unity in faith, witness and service for a just and peaceful world. An ecumenical fellowship of churches founded in 1948, today the WCC brings together 348 Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and other churches representing more than 560 million Christians in over 110 countries, and works cooperatively with the Roman Catholic Church. The WCC general secretary is Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia, from the Methodist Church in Kenya. Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.