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Constructing a community centre in the Jordan Valley.

Constructing a community centre in the Jordan Valley.

Building for peace: first-hand news from Palestine

On Tuesday 5 February Gill Knight, of the Hastings Palestine Solidarity Campaign and Hastings against War, will give an account of an eventful 10 days she spent in Palestine last October on a solidarity and fact-finding tour. HAW’s John Enefer sets the scene.

Gill was part of a group which went on a tour was organised by the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) and Torat Tzedek, two Israel-based organisations which support the Palestinian people. Torat Tzedek is a Jewish organisation which promotes the idea that it is a religious obligation to promote human rights, and particularly a Jewish religious obligation. It engages in direct action to support the Palestinian people.

ICAHD campaigns to protect Palestinian homes from destruction by Israeli forces, rebuilds Palestinian homes (189 to date) and works for a just and sustainable peace in the region.  The committee estimates that close to 50,000 Palestinian homes have been demolished in the occupied Palestinian territories since 1967.

Gill Knight with sheep in the Jordan Valley.

Gill Knight with sheep in the Jordan Valley.

The human rights group Amnesty International has documented evictions and house demolitions suffered by Palestinians, who are routinely denied building permits and so are forced to build ‘unofficially’ and risk being evicted later on. Amnesty’s Philip Luther has said: ‘The Israeli authorities are putting Palestinians in an impossible situation. Whatever choice they make, they face homelessness.”

War crime?

An entire Bedouin village in the West Bank, Khan al-Ahmar, is currently threatened with demolition, with UN officials suspecting that the purpose is to allow for the expansion of nearby Jewish settlements. The International Criminal Court has said the destruction of the village could constitute a war crime.

The group Gill joined in Palestine participated in building a community centre, harvested olives in a West Bank village and took part in field trips aimed at increasing awareness of life under occupation. They explored ideas on how to advocate for equality and justice for all.

“The group consisted of seasoned activists and newcomers to Palestine,” Gill said. “Fellow members demonstrating its diversity were a Church of England canon, a Finnish professor, a doctor and a young Jewish woman from Australia with relatives in Israel. And the age range was from early 20s to 80!’


Gill will talk about her experiences at the Quaker Meeting House, 5 South Terrace, Hastings, on Tuesday 5 February, starting at 7.00pm. The event is free to attend and wheelchair accessible. Everyone is welcome. The meeting is organised by Hastings Against War, which meets at 5 South Terrace on the first Tuesday of every month.

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Posted 15:14 Tuesday, Jan 29, 2019 In: Campaigns

1 Comment

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  1. Fernando Bauza

    Sometimes we forget that intensively argued about international issues like Palestine and Israel have a local and devastating result for ordinary people, innocent people. Support
    ICAHD and Today Tzedek, these
    organisations may be small but integrating Israelis and Palestinians show the way to a better future.

    Comment by Fernando Bauza — Thursday, Jan 31, 2019 @ 22:53

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