Early this morning the Israeli military broke through the doors
from the playground to the school and forced their way into the Arab Evangelica
lSchool in Ramallah, one of the service institutions of the Diocese of
Jerusalem.The School building was entered under threat of harm be the soldiers,
and each classroom and office searched.Samira Nasser, the Schoolís
director arrived and was told by the Israel soldiers to return to her home, and that if she stayed she would be in danger.
Soldiers are now stationed at the main entrance to the school and have prevented The Rev. George Al Kopti, rector to St. Andrewís Episcopal Church in Ramallah, and Sister Najah Rantisi, of the Evangelical Home, from leaving the premises.At any attempt to leave, they have been threatened by the military, both verbally and with weapons.There are also nineteen children, aged three to seventeen, currently boarding at the Evangelical Home, adjacent to the school.
The ArabEvangelicalSchool and Home are under the ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, and as such are on church property.It is very serious indeed, when military forces forcibly enter church property.
The school was founded in 1954 with 20 pupils. It now has 568
students from kindergarten through high school. Seventy
percent of the students are Christian, 30 percent are Moslem. A total of 45 teachers are on staff. One of the prime activities of the school is to teach about peace issues.The school is engaged in a bilateral program with Israeli counterparts in education to promote peace through education. To that end staff are trained in conflict resolution skills negotiation skills and how to design workable peace programs. We are proud of this program. We managed to show how we can represent our national dreams and aspirations through dialogue and not through violence.
(Samira Nasser, director).
Please keep the School, the staff, the clergy, the students, and
those children at the Evangelical Home and all the people of
this troubled region in your thoughts and prayers.
Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem