West Bank Story

Island resident PHIL CRAINE travelled to the Israeli-occupied West Bank in January.

Phil is there to spend three months as a human rights observer to help promote peace in a troubled region.

He joined others from over twenty countries, with the aim of the international team  to provide impartial protection by their presence.  They plan to monitor human rights abuses and support peace activists - both Israeli and Palestinian. 

Phil's is part of a global initiative called the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI).   This was set up in 2002 by the World Council of Churches in response to a call by the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem.   In the British Isles, the programme is organised by the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Phil is keeping a blog of his time and experiences which can be viewed at

One of his blog entries concerned the demolition, by Israeli authorities of several house in a Bedouin hilltop community, following a fruitless appeal by the owners.  Phil told how there was no time even for the family to take our their belongings.

A cousin of a blind man who had lived there for 20 years commented, 'Show our international friends that they can see the real face of the Government of Israel in their actions.'

Pictured the village after being demolished.


Want to contribute to Lifestyle?
If you feel you have a budding writer inside of you and have something you'd like to say then send your piece to