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To Be An Ecumenical Accompanier

A number of McCabe pilgrims have since returned to the West Bank for three months as human rights monitors with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) – they are called Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAs).  EAPPI is an international programme coordinated by the World Council of Churches.

EAPPI was founded in response to a call from the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem.  Since 2002 over 1,500 international volunteers from 22 countries have served as EAs. In the UK and Ireland it is coordinated by British Quakers on behalf of 16 churches and NGOs.

Vision
Their vision is a future in which the military occupation of Palestine (the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and Gaza) has ended and both Palestinians and Israelis enjoy a just peace with freedom, dignity and security based on international law.

Mission
Their mission is to witness life under occupation, engage with local Palestinians and Israelis pursuing a just peace, and work to change the international community’s involvement with the conflict, urging them to act against injustice in the region.

What we do
EAPPI recruits ordinary people from the UK to live alongside communities working non-violently against the military occupation. EAs range in age from 25 to 70 years old and are from many different backgrounds, but what they all share is a deep dedication to human rights.

We use the internationally recognised model of “accompaniment” as the framework for what we do. This model is guided by International Humanitarian Law and requires both a strategic local presence and international pressure in order to be effective. It is also seen by EAPPI as a biblical model for acting justly in the way of Christ.

Witness
First and foremost, our EAs witness life under occupation. They are on the ground 24/7 and are often the first to respond to human rights violations. EAs live with local communities and participate in daily activities. EAs monitor and report human rights violations, bringing eyewitness accounts to the world’s attention. EAPPI has more international human rights monitors on the ground than any other organisation in Israel and Palestine.

Engage
EAs provide protective presence. Our presence deters the Israeli military and armed settler groups from violating the human rights of civilians, and makes local communities feel safer. Our EAs stand in solidarity with local churches and Palestinian and Israeli peace activists, upholding them in their non-violent resistance to the occupation.