60. Photo Essay - Accompanier Wall Pilgrimage Walk
Accompaniers participate in Pilgrimage Walk to the Wall
A new group of 15 accompaniers arrived in Israel and Palestine and met with the previous group in a pilgrimage walk that took them from Jerusalem, to the â€œSeparation Wall,â€ and on to Bethany December 2nd.
A total of 41 accompaniers, plus members of the EAPPI staff in Jerusalem, participated in the walk which began at St. Anne´s Church in the Old City of Jerusalem, traditional birthplace of the Virgin Mary. The walk brought them past the sites of the Garden of Gethsemane and the Mount of Olives and on to a settlement being constructed on confiscated land in East Jerusalem. Angela Godfrey of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) helped conduct the walk. The pilgrimage reached an abrupt halt on the Jericho Road in Abu Dis due to the presence of Israel´s nine-meter high â€œSeparation Wall.â€ The accompaniers wrote down messages for peace on cards and placed them in crevices of the Wall before proceeding on to the â€œBawabeâ€ barrier between Abu Dis and Bethany (Al-Izariyyeh), traditional home of sisters Martha and Mary and their brother Lazarus, whom Jesus raised from the dead. After drawing messages of hope on the barrier, the group made its way into Bethany and participated in a short service at St. Lazarus´ Church. The event ended at the Pizza Roma restaurant in Abu Dis where the accompaniers had the opportunity to talk with some local residents.
The Good Samaritan
â€œThere was once a man who was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho when robbers attacked him, stripped him, and beat him up, leaving him half dead. It so happened that a priest was going down that road; but when he saw the man, he walked on by, on the other side. In the same way a Levite also came along, went over and looked at the man, then walked on by, on the other side. But a Samaritanâ€â€¦.found that the traditional road was blocked by the Wall, and after he had waited at the checkpoint, he came to the man, and found that he was dead.
All gathered in the Church of St. Anne's, known for its amazing acoustics, before starting on the walk.
Angela Godfrey of ICAHD explains the devastating effects the Wall is having on the local economy on why it will not bring peace to Israelis.
Angela Godfrey of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions briefing the group on what they will see on their walk.
Ecumenical Accompanier Vivienne Jackson from the United Kingdom writes her own message.
Ecumenical Accompaniers Eva Halling of Sweden, Frantz Frantzen of Norway, Emley Mnisi of South Africa, and Rune Sodal of Norway (l. to r.) walking through a neighborhood in East Jerusalem.
Ecumenical Accompaniers Vivienne Jackson of the United Kingdom, Anna Jonasson of Sweden, and Camilla Sieljaks of Denmark (l. to r.) with the Old City of Jerusalem in the background.
Ecumenical Accompaniers were greeted by Lutheran Bishop Munib Younan in Jerusalem before beginning their pilgrimage walk. The group was composed of Accompaniers just completing their service and those just arriving.
Father Michel greeted the group at St. Anne's Church, traditional birthplace of the Virgin Mary, before they began their walk from the Old City of Jerusalem.
Hermina Damons of South Africa, new EAPPI Local Programme Coordinator, carried a sign of peace on the walk.
In fact, the many closures throughout the West Bank have caused health consequences as people are unable to get to medical services.
The Accompaniers placed the messages for peace they had written into crevices in the Wall. Here, Helle Preisler from Denmark is delivering her message.
The Old City of Jerusalem is now in the background, the Dome of the Rock clearly visible.
The group made its way from the Wall in the Jericho Road to the crossing known as "Bawabe" a few meters away.
The group next moved on to Bethany (Al-Izariyyeh), the town of sisters Mary and Martha, and their brother Lazarus. They went into St. Lazarus' Church, near the traditional site of the tomb where the Gospel tells us Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead.
The last stop on the pilgrimage was the Pizza Roma restaurant in Abu Dis where Accompaniers interacted with local residents.
The old Jericho Road between Jerusalem and Jericho is brought to a sudden halt by Israel's "Separation Wall."
The pilgrimage began from St. Anne's Church just inside Lion Gate, also known as St. Stephen's Gate, in the Old City of Jerusalem.
This used to be a much-traveled road between Bethany (Al-Izariyyeh) and Abu Dis and then on to Jerusalem. Today it is closed by the concrete blocks. Accompaniers are writing more messages.
Vivienne Jackson from Britain places her message on the Wall. Israel has said the Wall is a security measure to separate Israelis from Palestinians. Here, the Wall only serves to separate Palestinians from Palestinians, dividing communities such as Bethany (Al-Izariyyeh), Abu Dis, and Sawahreh.
Vivienne Jackson from the United Kingdom delivers the message she had written earlier.