The Elders


Supporting peaceful Palestinian protest

"Non-violence is the only way of cleansing society of the tiredness, brutalisation and despondency it has been forced into." Ela Bhatt

During their first visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory in August 2009, the Elders visit peaceful protestors in the West Bank village of Bil'in, a Palestinian family living on the pavement after being evicted from their Jerusalem home, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.

Ela Bhatt: "Non-violence is the only way of cleansing society of the tiredness, brutalisation and despondency it has been forced into."

In Bil'in, the ground is littered with expired tear gas canisters used by the Israeli military to disperse protesters.

The Elders pay their respects to Bassem Abu Rahme who was killed during a non-violent protest in 2009.

Jimmy Carter greets a young boy and a man who was paralysed by the Israeli military during a peaceful protest.

The Elders met the Hanouns, a family living on the pavement outside their former home in East Jerusalem after being evicted by Israeli authorities.

The Elders' visit took place during Ramadan. They brought food for Iftar, the evening meal when the daily fast is broken.

The Elders met Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas; Palestinian reconciliation is vital if peace is to be achieved.

In a visit to the Palestinian village of Bil'in in the West Bank, the Elders heard how the construction of the separation wall between the West Bank and Israel has denied villagers access to their own lands. Over the past four and a half years, the village has become a site and symbol of non-violent protest and resistance by Palestinians and Israelis.

The Elders later visited the Hanoun family and offered them their support. The Hanouns are one of several Palestinian families recently evicted from their homes in East Jerusalem following an Israeli court ruling. The Hanouns have lived in their house for 55 years and their eviction has forced them to live on the pavement.

Later that evening, the Elders met Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.


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