Campaign for the Cremisan Valley
The Cremisan Valley is one of the last remaining agricultural areas for the people of the Bethlehem area. Local landowners grow olives, fruit trees and grapes for the local Cremisan wine in the valley, the land is cultivated well and the old terraces are carefully kept. This beautiful valley is also visited by people from the surrounding area for their family outings - on the weekends children play in the olive groves and families meet to spend time in the nature. Beside all practical arguments, the valley is a unique living cultural and historical landscape.
Cremisan is in immediate danger to be destroyed: After the construction of the Israeli separation wall the community will be cut off from the valley. More than 55 families – mainly Christians – and two religious orders will lose their land. Furth er, the Salesian Sisters Convent and School, which is providing education to more than 400 children from the surrounding villages, will be surrounded by military presence and separated from each other.
Recently the Israeli Special Appeals Committee for land seizure under emergency law released its verdict in the case of the Cremisan Valley. The verdict ruled in favor of the proposed alternative route of the separation wall. In the summer of 2015 a new court changed the verdict's interpretation; the community and land of the Cremisan Valley are again under threat of dectruction.
The Soceity of Saint Yves has a recently published document on what is happening inthe valley. You may download it here.
While representatives of the land owners in the Cremisan Valley are taking the case to the Israeli High Court, CMEP knows that this situation needs a political solution that ensures that all people have equal access and representative governmental authorities that govern their lives and property.
Additional Information and Resources
- Society of St. Yves-Catholic Center for Human Rights (lead in-country organization)
- Text of Statement Statement from the Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, World Council of Churches delivered by Father Ibrahim Shomali to the UN Human Rights Council 30th Session, Item 7: Human rights situation in Palestine and other occupied Arab territories, General Debate, 28 September 2015
- Letter to Secretary of State Kerry Protesting the Confiscation of Land in the Cremisan Valley from the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the USCCB (August 24, 2015)
Letter to Congressional Leaders Regarding the Cremisan Valley from the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the USCCB (August 24, 2015)
Unless othersie stated all photos used in this campaign are from the Society of St. Yves.