Greysteel woman to recount Palestine human rights visit

Orla talking to woman from the Humsa community after the demolition of their home.

Orla talking to woman from the Humsa community after the demolition of their home.

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Gretsteel woman, Orla Devine, will give a talk in Derry this Thursday about her time spent monitoring human rights violations in the occupied Palestinian territory with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI), an initiative of the World Council of Churches.

During her time there, Orla witnessed the aftermath of violent attacks perpetrated by Israeli settlers on Palestinians including an attack on a school, where the windows of the teachers’ cars where smashed in and the olive groves around the school set on fire, destroying over 400 trees.

Orla and her colleagues had to flee on one occasion when they were attacked by Israeli settlers throwing rocks as they accompanied a Palestinian farmer and his 10 year-old son to harvest their almonds.

Orla also witnessed several house demolitions carried out by the Israeli military in Palestinian communities in the West Bank, including the demolition of an entire community, in the Jordan Valley community of Mak-hul, leaving approximately 120 men, woman and children homeless.

“One of the hardest things I witnessed was the demolition of a Palestinian community’s water cistern by the Israeli military. Water is the most basic of all human needs. I asked the soldiers how destroying Palestinians’ access to water brought security to Israel. I got no reply.”

Hear Orla’s eye-witness account as a human rights monitor in the West Bank this Thursday October 23 at 1pm in UNISON, The Old Church, Clarendon Street, Derry. The talk is open to the public and lunch will be provided courtesy of UNISON. Everyone welcome.