Ecumenical Working Group on Palestine:Israel 
Australian Christians
inspired by Christ’s vision for universal peace and reconciliation
working to achieve lasting freedom and justice for the people of Palestine and Israel
Feb 2013
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Action Alerts

Cremisan valley being ripped in half by wall: Sign the petition to stop the separation wall going through the Cremisan Valley – which would result in 50 families – mainly Christians – and two Salesian convents loosing their lands and cutting off schools from the community.   A good article of context from The Guardian late last year: Bethlehem Christians feel the squeeze as Israeli settlements spread

Gazan children detained while fishing: Defence for Children International are asking for people to please write letters about fishing boats being shot at, equipment confiscated, and children arbitrarily detained off the coast of Gaza.

News from Palestine
shared from the Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum – of the World Council of Churches:

Israeli Authorities to Deport 1000 Palestinian Bedouins
The Head of the al-Wadi Maleh village council in the Northern Jordan Valley, has issued a report that Israeli authorities would deport around 1000 Palestinians from their homes on Wednesday 2nd January. Israeli authorities delivered the Palestinians written warnings, to evacuate their lands for military training purposes. Palestinians will be deported from several areas in the Jordan valley including: Wadi Maleh, Ein Hilwah, Wadi al-Faw, al-Maita, al-Burj and other areas. This deportation process is considered the biggest of all the other mass deportations carried out through this summer. The Jordan valleys have been witnessing deportations and demolitions processes since 1967. For more

Anti-Christian graffiti on church in destroyed Galilee village of Bir’em
Several days after Christmas, the former residents of Bir’em discovered the graffiti, as well as flammable liquid that had been poured at the entrance of the demolished Church of Our Lady in the village. The Committee for the Uprooted of Kafar Bir’em filed an official complaint to police, but no suspects have been identified. For more

Undercover IDF raid ignites mass clashes, injuries in West Bank
Over 30 Palestinians and two IDF soldiers were wounded in clashes with undercover Israeli troops disguised as vegetable vendors. The discovery of a small commando unit conducting arrests in the West Bank outraged locals forcing the regular army to use tear gas. The unrest broke out in the West Bank village of Tamaun. For more

Israeli Violation of the Truce Agreement
Since the ceasefire in November, Israel has conducted 43 violations in Gaza. On January 2, 2013, the Israeli Navy opened fire at a number of Palestinian fishing boats at the coasts of Khan Younis and Rafah, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip. Local sources reported that the firing of live ammunition forced the fishermen to return to their docks. For more

2012 Witnessed High Increase in Settlement Activities
The Israeli government approved in 2012 tenders for the construction of 2386 settlements in occupied Jerusalem, compared to 772 units approved in 2011 and 256 in 2010, Israeli human rights group Ir Amim reported. For more

Palestinian owners barred from Jordan Valley land, while Israeli farmers profit
Settlers in the Jordan Valley are farming more than 5,000 dunams (1,250 acres) of private Palestinian land located between the border fence and the actual border with Jordan. They received the land from the World Zionist Organization in the 1980s. The original owners, some of whom fled in 1967 and returned to the West Bank after the signing of the 1993 Oslo Accords and the 1994 peace treaty with Jordan, are still not allowed to access the land because of a military order preventing them from entering the border area. For more

Invite speaker to share experiences from Palestine

The Ecumenical Working Group has a list of Australians who have travelled to Palestine and are willing to share their experiences with groups around the country.  There are two people about to join the Christian Peacemaker Team delegation to Palestine, and the Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine Israel (with World Council of Churches) has one recent returned volunteer and two currently in country.  Contact to arrange a speaker to come to your church or group

Church Action on Palestine

Pax Christi International calls for end to settlements and boycott of settlement goods. Read statement.

Kairos Palestine 3rd year anniversary conference statement available.

Quaker Friends Centre in Ramallah newsletter including Christmas sermons and Homilies in Bethlehem

South African Church leaders issue statement after their visit to Palestine, stating  ”Being South African, it felt like walking into another apartheid ambush…We did not expect the extent to which Israel violates international laws to oppress the Palestinian people.  Our exposure to the Palestinian East Jerusalem and the Israeli-Occupied West Bank was overwhelming, one which traumatised us”. Read statement and reports

The Alliance of Baptists in the USA are developing a Christian response to the plight of Palestinians

St Paul’s Anglican in Auckland, make a video O little town of Bethlehem – the story of Jesus birth told through the eyes of Palestinian Christians.

Join our work

The Ecumenical Working Group is inviting anyone to be part of our work on Palestine.  You can join our bi-monthly phone meetings, contribute ideas for our website, or join our speakers list.  Please contact us at
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