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Important to remember the children in conflict - Brake

February 8, 2011 12:07 PM

At a reception in Parliament, showcasing photos taken by children living in the West Bank, Tom Brake MP praised the work of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI). Campaigners put on an exhibition of photos taken by children living in a West Bank village on disposable cameras. The human right's observers, known as ecumenical accompaniers (EAs), work with Palestinians and Israelis to promote non violence, monitor human rights abuses and advocate for an end to the Israeli occupation.

The children live in Yanoun, twenty kilometres south east of Nablus. The village is overlooked on three sides by an Israeli settlement which is illegal under international law. The human right's observers live in the village because in 2002 after years of harassment by settlers who assaulted the men, mutilated their animals and destroyed their crops, all 300 people fled to a nearby town. The few families who have returned say they will only stay while the EAs stay. Yanoun mayor Rashed Murrar says of EAs: "You are the medicine for our children and old people. They see you and they feel better."

"Everyday life in the Occupied Territories" was hosted by Tom Brake, Liberal Democrat MP for Carshalton and Wallington. The reception included representatives from the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions; and New Profile, an anti-militarist Israeli peace group.

The EAPPI has support across the churches. The Bishop of Bath and Wells, Peter Price supporting the reception said: "I have witnessed at first hand the gradual disintegration of normal life in the West Bank and Gaza over the past ten or so years. This is as a result of political intransigence, and lack of due regard for human dignity The denial of these rights in the occupied territories remains a deep scar on the body of humankind."

Tom said: "The EAPPI's observers do essential work promoting peace in the West Bank and these photos offer us valuable insight into the everyday lives of Palestinian children living there."

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