EAPPI welcomes 20 new accompaniers
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With the arrival in April of 20 new ecumenical accompaniers, the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) will continue to seek peaceful and nonviolent solutions to the conflict in Israel and Palestine. The new arrivals will join six accompaniers staying on from previous groups, bringing the total number currently on the ground to 26.
In the wake of Israel’s decision, supported by the United States, to take "unilateral measures" rather than enter into dialogue with Palestinian representatives, EAPPI continues to work with Palestinians and Israelis who are seeking an end to the occupation through nonviolent means and a just solution to the long conflict.
The new team of accompaniers comes from six countries including, for the first time, one from France. Canada, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland continue to be represented. The 14 women and six men, who come for a minimum service of three months, range in age from 26 to 73 years.
Ecumenical accompaniers work with local churches, Palestinian and Israeli NGOs, as well as Palestinian communities in various capacities to try to reduce the brutality of the occupation and improve the daily lives of both peoples.
Four accompaniers will continue the work in Sawahreh, and three others will be in Jayyous. Both villages are dealing with the effects of Israel's "separation barrier."
Four will be working with the Christian community and refugee camps in Ramallah. Three have been assigned to the "Israel Team," which cooperateswith Israeli peace and justice organizations.
Three accompaniers will be working in Hebron, accompanying children going to school and monitoring the human rights situation. Three will be living in the West Bank village of Yanoun.
One accompanier with a medical background will be working with the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees (UPMRC).
Since the programme was launched in August 2002, 115 ecumenical accompaniers have participated from more than 30 churches and ecumenical partners in 10 countries: Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
For more information on EAPPI and photos: www.eappi.org
For more information on the WCC: www.wcc-coe.org
The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) was launched in August 2002. Ecumenical accompaniers monitor and report violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, support acts of non-violent resistance alongside local Christian and Muslim Palestinians and Israeli peace activists, offer protection through non-violent presence, engage in public policy advocacy, and stand in solidarity with the churches and all those struggling against the occupation. The programme is co-ordinated by the World Council of Churches.