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Latest News2019-08-29T06:13:55+00:00

Home Rebuilding 2019

House Rebuilding 2019 The Khyara family realized their lifelong dream in 2017 when, after years of saving and help from family members, they were able to build a home for their family. In a few short months, on September 3, 2018, the Israeli military rolled through the village of al-Walaji and demolished their home, leaving Khalid Abu Khyara, his wife, and their three small girls homeless.   "As [...]

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Home Rebuilding 2017

House Rebuilding 2017For many Palestinian communities, the family is the center of life. It represents a communal system where each individual member helps to contribute to financial and material ways to make the whole family function. It isn't uncommon for brothers, sisters, uncles, and aunts all give monetarily for weddings and building new homes. It is also common practice to build buildings that can house the entire family, both [...]

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Home Rebuilding 2015

House Rebuilding 2015 Rebuilding the home of Yacoub Aby Nawa in the al-Aroub refugee camp, was impactful, because the Nawa family had their home demolished multiple times before. For the world, this story embodied the Palestinian concept of Sumud.  “There is a beautiful Arabic word ‘Sumud’ which translates roughly as steadfastness. It has come to embody the idea of resisting the occupation by remaining on the land, despite [...]

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Home Rebuilding 2013

House Rebuilding 2013Israel’s methodical implementation of settler-colonial policies almost broke the family of Abed al-Qaisi from Battier. The Israeli military had set a curfew for the West Bank and anyone who roamed the streets would most likely be shot. Their 5-year-old boy had a temperature of over 104 degrees. His helpless mother, without transportation, had decided to carry her son to a hospital in Bethlehem. She was met by [...]

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Home Rebuilding 2012

House Rebuilding 2012 In 2012 again we partnered with Hope Equals to provide some much-needed relief to Omar Salem Hijazi family and their eight children.  The Hijazi family lives in the Wadi Rahal area, south of Bethlehem - an area that the settlers from Efrat have been targeting for expansion for years. Their life was in shambles, barely being able to provide the basic necessity for children, such [...]

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Home Rebuilding 2011

House Rebuilding 2011 During the Nakba, Jewish paramilitary forces razed hundreds and hundreds of indigenous towns and villages, displace some 750,000 Palestinians during the creation of the state of Israel. Recognizing the horror and illegitimate means of taking over land by driving out the local population, the international community enshrined the “Right of Return” for the Palestinian refugee community into law. Since 1948, it has been the dream [...]

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Home Rebuilding 2010

House Rebuilding 2010In 2010 Holy Land Trust partnered with Hope Equals, which at the time was a project of the Christian Reformed World Mission in Grand Rapids. Facing a financial short-fall, Holy Land Trust managed to finance the reconstruction of Munther Salem's home in al-Waliji. Nonetheless, we rebuilt a large section of the home that was partially destroyed by the Israeli military. The demolition of Munther Salem's home was [...]

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Home Rebuilding 2009

House Rebuilding 2009 Rizek Suleiman Salah is one of the many Palestinians whose homes were razed during the annexation of key swathes of land as Israel built the Apartheid Wall. Living in the town of Al-Khader, just outside of Bethlehem city, the Israeli military demolished his home twice, once in 1997, then again in 2003. Rizik and his wife Seaham had at the time six children together and [...]

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Home Rebuilding 2008

House Rebuilding 2008On March 31, 2005, the Israeli military demolished the home of Walid Ahour. But more than losing his home, he lost his child.When the Israeli forces arrived to demolish their home, Walid's wife, Abir, was alone. She was in the ninth month of her pregnancy. By herself, she was forced to try to salvage the inside belonging of the home: the furniture, precious photos, jewelry - everything [...]

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Bet Leham Live Festival

At the end of Star Street in the Old City of Bethlehem, turquoise metal doors that are usually locked have been set wide open. In a cave-like interior, a group of women sits in the dim light on brightly colored pillows and sofas, discussing what it means to live as a woman in Palestinian society.“Last year, our morning workshops were almost empty. But now we had about twenty [...]

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A Personal Experience

By Corey Janz When planning my trip to Israel and Palestine, I wasn’t fond of travelling there during the height of summer. But it couldn’t be helped. Why not? Well, it wasn’t because I was hopelessly attracted to the blazing heat like a mesmerized bug to a bug-zapper. It was because of Bet Lahem Live. Bet Lahem Live is a festival in Bethlehem that is put on annually by [...]

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Reviving Star Street

Bethlehem creates a local market for renewed economic investment Star Street was once the bustling heart of Bethlehem's Old City, a vital link on the 1,500-year-old pilgrimage route from Jerusalem to the Nativity Church. Lined with white sandstone homes dating back to the 19th century, the street has long been a central part of Bethlehem identity and a reservoir of the holy city’s architectural and cultural heritage. Since 2000, [...]

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The effect of Apartheid

Historic Bethlehem- a place of pilgrimage, an economic hub, a flourishing city Bethlehem is one of the most important social, cultural and economic hubs in Palestinian life. Its status as the birthplace of Jesus makes it a place of fundamental importance in Christian narratives whilst Jesus’ prominence as a prophet in Islam means Bethlehem is also significant to Muslims. It is the setting for the story of Ruth [...]

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Faith, Culture & Justice

Bethlehem Live Festival: A space of hope In the context of a decades-long military occupation, where Palestinians livelihood in the West Bank are governed by military law, where Palestinians inside of the lands of 1948 are legally regulated to second-class citizenship, where Palestinians living in Gaza are have endured over a decade of military siege - being denied their most basic necessities - Bet Lahem Live is the [...]

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When women make a change

Women take center stage at Bethlehem LiveRudaina Sahouri, mother of three young girls in Beit Sahour, West Bank, reminisced about her younger years and how different the situation is now, “In the past, and before I was a mother, we could go anywhere in Palestine or Israel without anybody stopping us; nowadays we can’t give this life to our children because its forbidden to go anywhere without special permission [...]

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Identity is what defines us, connection is what strengthens us. The occupation of the Palestinian people has manifested itself in many forms. One key form was the intentional separation and redefinition / re-identification of the Palestinian population within different socio-political structures receiving different privileges and entitlements. Instead of saying “Palestinian” we now say “48 Palestinian,” “Israeli-Arab,” “Jerusalmite,” “West Bank Palestinian,” “Gazan,” etc. This has resulted in new and [...]

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Friendship Across Borders

Building new communities By bringing Germans, Israelis and Palestinian civil and activist leaders to engage in understanding and healing the “Trauma Triangle” we bring attention to how historic inherited narratives of trauma not only shape identity but define how we relate to other identities. With the help of interactive and creative approaches, which pay particular attention to personal awareness and group-specific dynamics, the participants became aware of the [...]

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Personal Transformation

Turning a new leaf Most of the decisions we make in the present for the future are motivated by our past experience. What we think is possible or not is based on what has worked or not worked or the assumptions we have. When talking about peace and justice in the land, most say it will not happen or will take many generations. All these aspects do not [...]

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Nonviolent Activism

Resisting oppression We are fully committed to Nonviolence as a means to resisting and ending occupation and oppression and creating a community that is structurally and spiritually founded on nonviolent principles. For over 20 years, Holy Land Trust has been a key player in the local and global nonviolent movement to achieve peace and justice. We continually work across local division, political lines, and international borders to unite [...]

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Healing Trauma Workshops

Healing Together Most Palestinians and Israelis have normalized themselves to the reality we are living in. Many others just say “reach a peace agreement;” as if this will end the conflict. Others encourage dialogue and bringing people together, as if that will result in real tangible change. Unlike many other joint Palestinian-Israeli programs that do not achieve the outcomes they intend to and may even numb or distort [...]

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