Life as an human rights monitor in Palestine and Israel

23 February 2023

Witnessing life under occupation is frustrating, heartbreaking but most of all it is a huge privilege. A privilege to be welcomed into Palestinian homes and lives. As an Ecumenical Accompanier you spend 3 months accompanying local people, Palestinians and Israeli peace activists, in their happiest moments, their saddest and the most degrading.

During my 3 month placement in Hebron, I witnessed homes demolished, children detained, shepherds blocked from grazing their sheep and attacks on all aspects of life in the city. We built connections with Palestinians and submitted incident reports to be shared with the international community. Most importantly of all, we were present, we observed and we listened to the stories.

Each family welcomed us with open arms and copious cups of coffee. Each family shared their experiences knowing that we would go home and advocate for a just peace for Palestinians and Israelis. Occupation seeps into every corner of life in the West Bank and as an EA you live alongside this, learning about the reality of the situation. You will leave full of experiences and stories to share with your local community. As well as the knowledge that whilst your presence hasn’t solved the situation, you have borne witness and stood alongside those most affected.

As one woman I met in Hebron told me, “Even if you feel like you are not doing a lot, you are, because you stand with us and bring the stories back. EAPPI is more important now than ever.”

Imogen Hardman, EA 2022/23

Find out how you could apply to become an EA