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Reporting from Palestine, July, 2014

Thursday, July 3, 2014


A message from Sabeel, Jerusalem by Naim Ateek

"For Such a Time, What is Required of Us?"

...The good people of Israel, Palestine, and the international community must
put a stop to this madness.  Long ago Jesus quoted the Psalmist saying, "The
meek will inherit the land."
  The meek are the people of the land and they
are the Israelis and the Palestinians, but they are not the arrogant
exclusivists of this world.  The exclusivists will eventually pass away and
someday new leaders will emerge, an Israeli Abraham Lincoln, or an Israeli
De Clerk who will lead Israel to peace based on sharing the land where every
person – man and woman, Israeli and Palestinian - will live as equal
citizens with human dignity....

Click here to read more: "For such a time, what is required of us?"


FOSNA staff - July 1, 2014

Sakher's family told me they started looking for his body last week, when his sheep returned home without him. He was a 17-year-old shepherd from Maleh village. He was shot in the heart by a single Israeli bullet and bled to death, alone, on a hillside in Area C. 

Israel’s current assault on Palestinians, "Operation Brother's Keeper," intensifies the uncertainty and loss experienced by those in Gaza, the West Bank and the Diaspora. Midnight home raids to extract, detain, and interrogate children are on the rise. Young men like Sakher are being shot and killed. This includes countless teens beyond the ever-increasing number of Palestinians and 3 Israelis discussed in our media. 

The uncanny feeling that we are sitting in the eye of a potentially bloody storm pervades every corner of Palestine. Even the summer evening breeze seems to hold its breath. This is when the power of sumud (steadfastness) becomes so apparent: the breeze can hold its breath, but Palestinians refuse. Manara Circle in the center of Ramallah (where another teen was shot and killed) hosts a banner to commemorate his death, but daily life goes on. The four stone lions of Manara Circle that witnessed his death also witness the shouts and bustle of an ordinary market day in Ramallah.

I asked friends how they could go about their daily lives while homes are demolished and Gaza neighborhoods bombed. Their response: “We must go about our daily lives as if the world is as it should be, so that one day it will be.”

So while Palestinians are remaining steadfast, they need our solidarity in a particular way: 

Call your representatives and tell them that you are concerned for the safety of all people living under Israeli assaults. Remind the representative that the use of American weapons or surveillance technology against a civilian population is against US law, that the Israeli presence in the West Bank is illegal under international law, and that collective punishment is a war crime. Your representative should know that as a taxpayer and as a voter, you object to US dollars being used to fund such an unlawful enterprise in your name.

July 3, 2014, 12:59 am

Mayor Haj Sami, my friend in Aqaba village in the Jordan Valley just called me: at least 3 bulldozers in Al Aqaba Village near Tubas, from the East and from the West near Tayaseer, are finally leaving now...

All the demolitions are on the land of the Latin Patriarchate.

Six animal shelters demolished — he tells me the names of the families impacted —  no homes (though one man was staying at the animal shelter to care for the goats).  "Why does the Israeli Army fear our chickens and our goats?"

The soldier told a woman, "Build one block and we will return to destroy all of Al Aqaba."

Haj Sami's mesage: "Please tell them I am the one who was shot three times by the soldiers and yet I only talk about the peace.  Tell them that we want peace and we want to live and we want to build on our land. I know this is occupation, They are going away now, we are ok."

Learn more about Al Aqaba here. If you are inclined to call your Representatives, here is what to say:

"I am calling as your constituent to ask you to call the Foreign Office (or State Department) and the Israeli Embassy on my behalf.   Ask them to save the peaceful village of Al Aqaba.  Ask stop the bulldozers that are beginning to destroy homes there, on the edge of the village, heading to the center."  Ask them to place their call and call you back.

July 4, 2014, A Message from Sabeel Jerusalem: "For such a time, what is required of us?"