Palestinians ask for release of CPTers held in Iraq

The mayor of At-Tuwani calls for release of CPTers in Iraq.On Friday, December 2, 2005, Palestinians from the village of At-Tuwani organized a demonstration in support of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT), asking for the release of the CPTers currently missing in Iraq: Tom Fox, Harmeet Sooden, Jim Loney and Norman Kember.  More than 100 Palestinians from the southern Hebron district, including adults and children, marched from the school to the clinic in At-Tuwani, holding photos of the CPTers and banners. The banners read, "CPTers sacrifice their blood to help us and to help the world know about our struggles.  The people, women and children of At-Tuwani ask for the captors to let the CPT free."

Villagers spoke about their daily struggles living under Israeli occupation and how CPTers have stood with them in their resistance to occupation.  One Palestinian said, "I request from the Iraqi resistance to release the kidnapped CPT members. That is due to the fact that they have defended innocent Palestinians in the past. My proof is that one day, Israeli extremist settlers stole my flock of sheep and beat up my children. Members of the CPT videotaped the whole incident while putting themselves in harm’s way. People who do such things are good friends, not the enemy. I plead with the Islamic resistance in Iraq to help in freeing these people and I would like to thank all those exerting the efforts to secure such a release."Another Palestinian said, "We have been suffering from the Israeli occupation since ages. CPT members came here two years ago. They have documented such suffering, and were badly beaten by the Israeli settlers for that.  As such, we have to stand by them because they hold a message of peace as we call upon the kidnappers to release the kidnapped CPT members in Iraq. They have become human shields for our children against Israeli aggression. We demand that they are to be set free as a reward for their good deeds here in Tuwani and in the rest of Palestine."The mayor of At-Tuwani stated, "In Tuwani, CPT members walk on daily basis with the students of Tuwani for a distance of more than two kilometers to assure they arrive to school and home safely. This accompaniment program has been carried out over the last two school years. As such, we plead with the kidnappers to grant clemency for our friends in Iraq CPT.  God willing, our message will reach them as we hope all the best for the Iraqi resistance movement from the marginalized people of Palestine. Thank you. 

"With all the injustices we face as Palestinians and Iraqis we do not want to be unjust especially towards those who are helping us in these difficult times. So I plead with the kidnappers to release CPT members in gratitude for their humane services."

This story was supplied by CPTnet.