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EAPPI Volunteers return to The Holy Land to witness life under occupation

Six ecumenical accompaniers have returned to Palestine and Israel, resuming in-person operations for the World Council of Churches (WCC) Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel. Ecumenical accompaniers, who were evacuated beginning of October 2023, had been continuing their support and accompaniment online. 

While prioritizing safety and carefully assessing risks, the WCC is gradually resuming in-person involvement by accompaniers. The return of accompaniers is coupled with continued vigilance. 

The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel modified its strategy in response to the intensifying crisis in Gaza, moving to distant activities while keeping its commitment to vulnerable communities. This tactical change made sure that the impacted communities are empowered, and their voices are heard.

In relation to operational focus and regional support, Jerusalem is the primary location for the physical presence of ecumenical accompaniers. Accompaniers continue to support other regions remotely in collaboration with various organizations, ensuring comprehensive coverage and assistance.

“The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel remains committed to its role of providing support and advocating for justice and peace in the region,” said Carla Khijoyan, WCC programme executive for the Middle East. “The program emphasizes the importance of impartiality and nonviolence in its operations and aims to contribute towards a future of coexistence and mutual respect between Palestinians and Israelis.”

The Ecumenical Accompaniment Program for Palestine and Israel, initiated by the World Council of Churches, brings international volunteers to the West Bank to witness life under occupation and support local communities. 

Due to the escalation in Gaza, the programme adjusted its approach, shifting to remote operations while maintaining its commitment to the region. This strategic shift ensured the continuity of support for the communities affected by the occupation.


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