Above: A village elder faces the illegal Israeli settlement that threatens his village's existence. Photo by Jakob Schiller.
JUNE–JULY 2016 NEWS
General Conference passes resolution on Wadi Foquin
A resolution brought forward by Friends of Wadi Foquin was approved by the General Conference of the United Methodist Church last month at the quadrennial meeting of the worldwide church in Portland, Oregon. The resolution, titled “Destruction of Land and Life in Wadi Foquin,” calls for the General Conference to write to Secretary of State John Kerry, President Barack Obama, State Department officials, the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, and the Israeli Civil Authority and:
Friends of Wadi Foquin endorses Rep. McCollum's call for Special Envoy
Friends of Wadi Foquin referenced the General Conference resolution in its endorsement of an initiative by Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) calling for the appointment of a Special Envoy to look into and protect Palestinian children who suffer from the increased expansion of the illegal settlements and disproportionate violence experienced under the Israeli military occupation. With its endorsement, FWF joins many organizational supporters of this initiative. For the full text of Rep. McCollum’s letter, click here. To read our endorsement, click here.
Tel Aviv killings turn up the heat in the village
Following the attack at an Israeli market in Tel Aviv in early June, there has been an increased military presence throughout the West Bank, including a regular presence in Wadi Foquin. Two villagers aged 21 and 23 were arrested and held without charge. They were released after paying fines.
Soccer field opens for use
The village has completed walls for the soccer field and recently began opening the field for use during Ramadan. Lights have been installed for evening activity. The people are very excited and happy about the field and the opportunity to play on it. This is the fruit of the partnership with Friends of Wadi Foquin and the United Methodist Church. The village is waiting for government resources to install the grass. An NGO from Sweden has agreed to help expand the park next to the soccer field. Thus far, there have been no actions by the Israeli Civil Authority to stop the activity on the field.
USAID road improvements remain to be seen
The Wadi Foquin village council received word that work on road improvements would begin in mid-July. The only problem is that the roads are located in Area C and USAID policy does not allow for road construction in Area C. We will have to wait and see what happens.
Wadi Foquin speakers coming to US
Hosts/venues sought for Northern CA educational tour
Friends of Wadi Foquin will be hosting Ata Manasra and Adel Hroub from Wadi Foquin from July 26 to August 16. Ata is the coordinator of the Narjes Community Development Program, and Adel is the youth coordinator for the project. The purpose of their trip will be to educate and update people on the situation in Wadi Foquin as well as to raise funds for community projects. We are looking for hosts and venues for their visit. If you are interested, please contact Rev. Michael Yoshii.
Below, top photo: Ata Manasra (right) with Janet Lahr Lewis, former United Methodist missionary to Israel and Palestine. They often co-lead tours of the Holy Land that include visits to Wadi Foquin. Bottom photo: Adel Hroub (far left) with graduates of a first aid course offered to Wadi Foquin youth through the community development program.
For a recap of the February 2016 congressional briefing, please click here.