Holy Land: eyewitness report from Nablus


 Pax Christi vice-chair Rosemary Read, a grandmother of five, left her home town of Derby on 10 September to work in the Holy Land for three months. Based in Nablus, a West Bank town north of Jerusalem, she is observing and reporting on human rights abuses committed by any group. Her work is part of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme for Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) of the World Council of Churches. This is a project that is supported by Pax Christi International and the British Section of Pax Christi. Writing on November 3rd - soon after the Israeli authorities had identified that the most recent suicide bomber was from Nablus, Rosemary said: "The Israeli army came in very quickly - before the end of (the Ramadan) fast, at 5pm. They went to Askara camp which is where the boy came from. This is the camp where a boy of 14 years was killed by two bullets and two of his friends injured. The house of the family of the bomber was destroyed even though his mother condemned those who had brainwashed her son into doing the act. Undercover soldiers - dressed as women in traditional Palestinian clothes, then looked for 'wanted' men and shot dead three of them. One had been involved in a previous raid by soldiers , he may have been a ring leader. But still, no attempt to arrest and charge anyone, just the shootings. This is a war, not defence against 'terrorism' . One person was shot just behind our house, we heard a lot of shooting, running, shouts but did not know what had happened until morning. The city has been sealed off since. I was meant to be olive picking yesterday so was at the checkpoint at 7am. No one was being allowed out not even ambulances, though later in the day they at least were allowed through. Pax Christi is an international Catholic movement for peace, founded in 1945, with sections in five continents. It has a vision of the world where people can live in peace and without fear of violence, in all its forms. Pax Christi works to ensure that the message of peace is heard by the Church, by decision makers and those working in our communities.

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