World Council of Churches pulls observers from Hebron, fearing settlers

The announcement follows Israel’s decision to end the 22-year old observer mission, known as the Temporary International Presence in Hebron.

By
January 30, 2019 10:33
Hebron.

Hebron.. (photo credit: DAN RABBENHEIMER/TPS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

The World Council of Churches plans to pull its observers from the West Bank city of Hebron fearing that they are no longer safe from “harassment” by Jewish residents of the city and the IDF.

 

The announcement follows Israel’s decision to end the 22-year old observer mission, known as the Temporary International Presence in Hebron, which had 64 civilian participants from Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Italy and Turkey that participated.

 

TIPH had operated in Hebron through an agreement that was signed twice a year by the Palestinian Authority and Israel. The observers reported on incidents of alleged human rights abuses by Jewish resident of the city and the IDF against Palestinians. 

  

The WCC said that its program was “among several non-governmental and peacemaking organizations that have reached a critical point this week as a result of alleged harassment by settlers and by Israeli soldiers.”

 

WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit said, “The WCC accompaniers are currently prevented from fulfilling their role as a peaceful protective presence for residents in Hebron,” said Tveit. 

“We must strengthen our resolve for the pursuit of just peace, and not allow harassment or threats to keep us from this pursuit.”

 

The WCC’s program in Hebron is part of the church’s larger “Ecumenical Accompaniment Program in Palestine and Israel (WCC-EAPPI)” that was created in 2002 and operates in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. It was created in response to a call from Palestinian church leaders in the region.

 

The Israeli right-wing NGO Im Tirtzu said it was certain its operation against the group in the last few months had helped led to its decision to leave the Hebron. An Im Tirtzu spokesperson said that members of its group had been filming the WCC observers and posting those videos on social media. Those videos showed the observers trying to hide from the cameras.

 

Matan Peleg, CEO of Im Tirtzu that led the efforts to oust the EAPPI from Hebron, said:

 

"We are pleased to see that foreign government-funded delegitimization organizations are beginning to leave Hebron. 

 

“These organizations do nothing apart from fuel the fires of conflict and provoke IDF soldiers, and they are the true obstacle to peace. We are pleased that our efforts to 'film the filmers' succeeded, and we promise to continue working on behalf of IDF soldiers and the State of Israel,” Peleg said.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

A Palestinian child in an UNRWA school in Lebanon marks Nakba Day
July 15, 2019
Palestinians condemn crackdown on 'illegal workers' in Lebanon

By KHALED ABU TOAMEH

Cookie Settings