Operating in an area where the needs for humanitarian assistance are enormous and where 43 percent of the population is unemployed – of which 80 percent are youth – has its challenges. Thousands of destroyed homes, a damaged infrastructure, frequent power cuts and a continued blockade don’t make life easy for the 1.8 million inhabitants in tiny Gaza - one of the most densely populated, self-governing territories in the world.
During the 29 years Virgine Nasrawi has worked in the Talbiah refugee camp, located 40 kilometers south of Amman, the Jordanian capital, she has witnessed many changes. And the sudden influx of refugees from neighbouring Syria, caused by the devastating civil war in that country, is the most dramatic.
After traveling to Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv in the last week for a climate justice meeting, World Council of Churches staff and partners were detained or deported in a manner that WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit terms both unprecedented and intolerable.
The Palestine Israel Ecumenical Forum (PIEF) was launched by the WCC in 2007 to catalyze and co-ordinate new and existing church advocacy for peace, aimed at ending the illegal occupation of Palestinian territories in accordance with UN resolutions, and demonstrate its commitment to inter-religious action for peace and to justice that serves all peoples of the region.
PIEF acts to
- challenge government support for the occupation
- challenge public support for the occupation
- challenge theological and biblical justifications for the occupation and
- maintain viable the Palestinian Christian presence in the Holy Land.