Letter from Christian peace team in Hebron to Israeli commander

 2 November: The Christian Peacemaker Team delivered this letter to the Israeli Defence Force camp at 6pm this evening. Please continue to keep everyone living in Hebron in your prayers. To Noam Tibon, Commander of Hebron district: The Christian Peacemaker Team in Hebron, which has had a continuous presence here since June 1995, is saddened by the many deaths this month; whether Palestinian or Israeli, armed or unarmed, we believe that each killing destroys part of God's good creation, each killing is a loss for the entire human family. We are appalled by the dramatic escalation of violence the Israeli military is engaged in with indiscriminate fire from heavy weaponry in Bethlehem, Beit Jaala, Beit Sahour, as well as throughout the neighbourhoods of Hart-iSheik and Abu Sneineh here in Hebron. Accordingly, members of our team will be staying with families in the Hart iSheik neighbourhood this evening, Thursday 2 November. As pacifists, we have asked the families to assure us there are no guns in their homes and they have done so. We are aware that the authorities of the Israeli occupation may accuse us of shielding terrorists, and we know there have been shots fired from these neighbourhoods over the past month. However, no one from these neighbourhoods has strafed Israeli neighbourhoods with missiles and automatic weapons fire, and the vast majority of people in these neighbourhoods are not gunmen. We believe that collective punishment against a whole people, whether they be Israeli or Palestinian, is morally wrong. In 1996 we rode the No18 bus in Jerusalem on the third Sunday after it had been bombed the two previous Sundays to protest the collective punishment of Israeli civilians. Tonight, we are staying in the Hart iSheik neighbourhood to protest the collective punishment of Palestinian civilians. By the time you receive this, members of our team will be in this neighbourhood and our consular representatives will have been notified. With hopes for a just and lasting peace for both Palestinians and Israelis, Christian Peacemaker Teams

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