Christian Activist: Sage and solidarity
“We heard of olive trees being cut down, threats with guns, police inaction, demolitions”
Jabril, a quietly-spoken 50-year-old shepherd has received two “stop work orders”. These are official Israeli documents saying he must stop building his residences – basically two walled tents and a sheep shelter. The order was delivered whilst he was out with his sheep, to his 28-year-old son who lives with him. All three structures have been up for three years at least and were moved after the last time Israelis wrecked his home.* The family of 10, who have lived here for several generations, will be affected by the loss.
When we went to see Jabril in Qawawis, the small village where he lives in Area C (Palestinian land under the control of Israel), we were met by two of the women of the household plus its two newest members, two-year-old Saden and eight-month-old Mira. Mira was learning to roll over and making her first attempt at talking. She beamed at everyone around her and was happy to be left with us when her mum went off to make the drinks while we talked to Jabril.
I am staying in the South Hebron Hills in the West Bank of occupied Palestine, volunteering for three months for the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel. I decided to apply to do this after a United Reformed Church study tour of occupied Palestine and Israel in 2013. The study tour showed us both negative and positive stories about life under the occupation and I wanted to do something practical to help…
Theresa Manbridge is a volunteer with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Israel And Palestine
This is an extract from the June 2015 edition of Reform.