8 October 2018, Jerusalem, Occupied Palestinian Territories: It’s 5.18 in the morning, and in the open space by the checkpoint, a group of men step aside for a moment for Fajr prayer (‘dawn prayer’) before going through the turnstiles. Qalandiya is the main checkpoint between the northern West Bank and Jerusalem, where thousands upon thousands of Palestinians try to make their way to Jerusalem each day. Ecumenical accompaniers (EAs) from the World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (WCC-EAPPI) visit regularly in the early mornings. Their task is to be an international presence and to show solidarity, offer basic support to anyone denied passage, and collect documentation of the situation at the checkpoint. EAs’ reports feed into the UN system, providing ongoing monitoring of the human rights situation in Israel and Palestine.
- Albin Hillert/WCC
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- Qalandiya checkpoint, Jerusalem