At 2:30 pm, on Monday, 9 March, a Jerusalem court released two Christian Peacemaker Teams members (CPTers) who were arrested while they accompanied 19 Palestinians trying to access their land near the Bedouin village of Um al-Kheir. The CPTers were charged with trespass and obstruction of construction work, despite being invited to the land by the Palestinians landowners and being at least 10 meters away from the work zone. Israeli police arrested the CPTers on Sunday, 8 March, at 11:30 am, when
Palestinian landowners asserted their right to visit their land. Palestinians from Um al-Kheir observed workers using road-building equipment on Palestinian-owned land near the adjacent Israeli settlement of Karmel. When the Palestinians and CPTers approached the work area, an Israeli settlement security guard began to shout, demanding that they leave. When they remained on their land, the guard contacted the Israeli army and police. At 12 pm, Israeli police detained the Palestinians at the scene for 45 minutes. They also arrested the CPTers and transported them to Kiryat Arba Police Station outside Hebron. Neither the army nor police asked the Palestinians for papers to ascertain the true ownership of the land.
Um al-Kheir villagers report that the work they observed is expanding Karmel settlement and stealing their land and livelihood.
About this Blog
"Ordinary People" is something of an intentional misnomer. I live and work with Palestinians practicing nonviolent resistance to the Israeli occupation. They are doing things that are hardly "ordinary": committing themselves to active nonviolence and to loving their enemies -- following the commands of One who was anything but ordinary. And yet, the Palestinians with whom I work are also very ordinary -- they are not some kind of spiritual superheroes/superheroines who do things most folks can't do. They are simply ordinary people daily committing themselves to living a higher calling -- a calling of love and active nonviolence.