Who we are
Christian Peacemaker Teams Palestine is a faith-based organization that supports Palestinian-led, non-violent, grassroots resistance to the Israeli occupation and the unjust structures that uphold it. By collaborating with local Palestinian and Israeli peacemakers and educating people in our home communities we strive to help create a space for justice and peace.
Updates from the field
This study is divided into two parts. In this first section we will consider the framework of International Humanitarian Law, including a short tour through its history and applicable normative bodies. In the second part, which will be featured in next month’s CPT newsletter, we will explore the obligations of the occupying power with specific attention to children’s access to education…
I wake to the sound of screaming. Screaming and multiple tear gas canisters fired no more than ten meters away from where I lie.
I close the windows and rush to check on my grandparents. They’re both in their 80’s and won’t be able to handle even the smallest amount of tear gas. It’s just the three of us in the house. I ask my grandparents about what’s happening, and they appear to have no idea. They’re completely unfazed and ask if I’d like some tea…
“Forgiveness isn’t giving up your right to justice, but giving up your just right for revenge.” These wise words, spoken by a Palestinian man as he sat next to a Zionist settler, offer hope amidst this brutal conflict. Hope is something that all must cling to, especially under the oppressive weight of military occupation…
CPT Fall School Run Update
Palestinian children returned to school on Monday August 28, and CPT resumed its work of protective presence and human rights monitoring at two military checkpoints, 209 (Quiton) and 29 (Salaymeh), in the H2 zone of Hebron. On average, checkpoint 209 sees 100 boys, 25 girls, 5 female teachers, and 10 male teachers pass through daily, while checkpoint 29 sees an average of 65 boys, 75 girls, 2 female teachers, and 5 male teachers pass through daily.
On the whole, this fall term has been calm compared to last term, though a couple of incidents have taken place: On September 8, Israeli border police fired thirteen tear gas canisters at checkpoint 209 and seven at checkpoint 29 to disperse boys a few hundred yards down the road. On September 20 seven teargas canisters were fired at checkpoint 209, disrupting the children’s walk to school. This semester has also seen the closure of the Ibrahimi Mosque checkpoint for the Jewish holidays, forcing children and teachers to take longer routes to school.
The local community has requested that CPT increase its monitoring of schools, and the team has now started monitoring the checkpoint adjacent to the Al-Rajabi building near the illegal settlement of Kiryat Arba.
Exposure to violence
Palestinian children in the H-2 / Israeli military-controlled area of Hebron, besides having to deal with the violence, poverty, humiliation and restrictions on their movement that are a direct result of Israel’s military occupation of the city, must regularly walk through toxic clouds of teargas on their way to school. The hundreds of students attending Ibrahimi, Al Fayhaa, Tareq Ibn Ziad, Khadeegeh, Hebron, and the UNRWA schools, as well as their teachers and neighbors, face collective punishment for the actions of a few boys who throw stones at the checkpoints.
The checkpoints are a relatively recent phenomenon in Hebron. Until the early 2000’s children and teachers walked to their schools as they do in any normal society, but as the Israeli military began to enforce a closure on the Old City, strangling its economic, cultural and social life, it determined these checkpoints were necessary to solidify its control. To put matters bluntly, absolute military control of H2 was worth any consequence to its Palestinian inhabitants… Read more
Stats on Teargas
Palestinians living in Hebron / Al-Khalil repeatedly face teargas, sound grenades, and other violent measures deployed by Israeli forces. Christian Peacemaker Teams accompanies Palestinians living in H-2 / Israeli-occupied Hebron and documents the Israeli military’s use of violence against the people living there. The numbers below tally up-to-the-hour incidents of teargas and sound grenades in the areas of Hebron’s Old City that CPT and the International Solidarity Movement monitor.
Much of the physical violence that CPT witnesses occurs around Israeli military checkpoints while Palestinian children are walking to and from school. Rounds of teargas have also become a default military response to any expression of Palestinian dissent, including nonviolent demonstrations.
Teargas, sound grenades, skunk water, rubber bullets, and live ammunition present both physical and mental health threats to the Hebron community. Children have been hospitalized due to… Read more