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EAPPI 10th Anniversary News

10 years of supporting Israelis and Palestinians working for a just peace

An EA walks children to school in the South Hebron Hills

After bringing 1062 volunteers from 25 countries to monitor human rights in Jerusalem and the West Bank, the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) is commemorating its 10th anniversary. 

Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAs) spend three months providing protective presence to vulnerable communities, monitoring and reporting human rights abuses and supporting Israelis and Palestinians working for peace. When they return home, EAs advocate for a just peace based on international law.

 “EAs are of different ages and nationalities but what they all share is a deep commitment to peace and justice. They get up at 3am to monitor checkpoints, escort children facing settler violence to school, and assist struggling farmers to access their land.”

EAPPI began in 2002 in response to an appeal from the local churches in Jerusalem. While the programme works with all communities regardless of religion, supporting local Christians remains an essential part of EAPPI’s work.

Since its founding, EAPPI has expanded to cover seven placements: Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron, South Hebron Hills, Tulkarm and Jayyus. As well as experiencing life in Palestinian communities under occupation, EAs also work closely with Israeli peace groups.  They are exposed to many different perspectives during their training, including visiting an Israeli settlement and the southern town of Sderot to hear about the effects of rocket fire from Gaza.

“When the programme began in 2002, we hoped that the occupation would not last another decade. However with human rights abuses such as settler violence, house demolitions and restrictions on freedom of movement still continuing in 2012,  the reality is that EAPPI is needed as much as ever,” said Mr Quintero.

EAPPI currently has its 46th international team working on the ground in Jerusalem and the West Bank.