HEBRON, WEST BANK -- On March 1, members of the Christian Peacemaker Team in Hebron will begin a 700 hour public fast (29 days) on behalf of 700 Palestinian families scheduled to lose their homes because their land is adjacent to Israeli settlements or bypass roads. In violation of the Oslo II Peace Accords, the Israeli government recently issued demolition orders for approximately 700 Palestinian homes throughout the West Bank.
In light of the urgency of the situation, CPT members expressed the need to move to a "new level of spiritual nonviolence." "Fasting is a spiritual response that embodies solidarity with Palestinian families and allows an influx of God's spirit to provide a clarity of vision and direction," said the team. "We have witnessed the people's frustration about to erupt. This fast may provide a transforming channel for that power," added team member Cliff Kindy of N. Manchester, IN.
Drawing inspiration from Isaiah 58:12, the "Fast for Rebuilding" calls for
The Israeli government cites as justification for the demolitions that the targeted homes were built without permits. However it does not generally report that Palestinian families whose lands border Israeli settlements have been routinely denied such permits for the last two decades. Overcrowding often forces families to build on land that in most cases has been in their family for generations, despite being denied permission by Israeli authories. Once Palestinian homes are demolished, Israeli settlements can more easily expand.
Team members will carry out the public fast in Hebron beginning Saturday, March 1 and concluding Easter Sunday morning, March 30. Israelis and Palestinians with whom CPT has worked during its 20 month violence deterring presence will visit Hebron to join the team throughout the course of the 29 day fast.
Hebron Team members request CPT supporters in North America to join the "Fast for Rebuilding" at a variety of levels in a concerted campaign of fasting, prayer, and action on behalf of Palestinian families facing house demolitions. "To be faithful and strong in this fast will require the support of our churches," they said. CPT is preparing materials explaining the "Fast for Rebuilding" and the different ways groups may become involved. The packet will include liturgies, prayers, a guide to fasting, action suggestions, and regular updates for congregations and news outlets.
Christian Peacemaker Team members participating in the 700 hour fast are Mark Frey (N. Newton, KS), Art Gish (Athens, OH), Cliff Kindy (N. Manchester, IN), Terry Rempel (Tofield, AB), and Dianne Roe (Corning, NY). Please contact CPT for more information at P.O. Box 6508; Chicago, IL 60608; Tel: 312-455-1199; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christian Peacemaker Teams is an initiative among Mennonite and Church of the Brethren congregations and Friends Meetings that supports violence reduction efforts around the world. CPT P. O. Box 5608 Chicago, IL 60680 tel 312-455-1199 FAX 312-666-1677 email email@example.com WEB http://www.prairienet.org/cpt/