Photo Albin Hillert/WCC
Photo Albin Hillert/WCC

Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) 

Photo Albin Hillert/WCC
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The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) guarantees the protective presence of international observers in fragile communities on the West Bank including East Jerusalem. Monitoring developments in the occupied territories and reporting human rights violations brings extra protection. Key principles of the programme are: nonviolence, monitoring of human rights violations, protective presence, standing with local peace and human rights groups, advocacy, and principled impartiality.

 

The work of EAPPI

The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) [1] was created in 2002 by the WCC (World Council of Churches) in response to a letter and an appeal from local church leaders to create an international presence in the country.

EAPPI provides a continuous presence of 25-30 Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAs), who serve in the field for three months (on the West Bank and East Jerusalem), accompanying local people and communities, offering a protective presence, and witnessing their daily struggles and hopes. EAPPI is guided by “principled impartiality”: it takes no side in the conflict nor discriminates against anyone, but it is not neutral in terms of human rights and respect for international humanitarian law.

The accompaniers come from 21 countries worldwide and are supported by a staff team in Jerusalem. A Local Reference Group representing communities and churches who have asked for and are benefitting from the program helps to guide the program, along with the WCC team in Geneva and national coordinators in the sending countries.

Almost 1800 Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAs) have served through the program, and many of them have stayed involved and interested in working toward a just peace in Palestine and Israel, by sharing their stories and through lobby or advocacy after returning to their home countries.
 

[1] In the Netherlands, the programme is supported by Geloof en Samenleving (Faith and Society) of the Remonstrants, Religieus Genootschap der Vrienden (Quakers) and the Evangelische Broedergemeente.


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