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Action Palestine - our partner for University twinnings

The First Six Days - Camden Abu Dis stories

The First Six Days: Oral history of the Six Day War in 1967. Memories from Abu Dis and Camden - the Beginning of the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.


Twinning with Palestine

The Britain - Palestine Twinning Network - "promoting twinning and friendship links"

Activities for the network in 2011 include * Women's visit - March * Twinning Conference in Palestine - April * Visits to Palestine April and October * Conference in Liverpool - November.

Twinning Info. / Visit reports - Camden to Abu Dis

Interesting summary of all the work CADFA has done in recent years.

June 2009 Children's music visit -


Conference April 26th 2008

On this page: About Abu Dis / Can you help? / Giving birth in Abu Dis / Visit by Abu Dis school children / Press Release - House of Commons Committee submissions

Latest news letter - Blog from a volunteer - Guardian letter 11th October 2007

About Abu Dis

Abu Dis is a village now grown into a small town just east of East Jerusalem, next to the Mount of Olives. Lots of the village lands have been taken to build illegal Israeli settlements - now massive townships, like Maale Adumim, which is continuing to take more land and to expand. Because of its proximity to Jerusalem, Abu Dis people depend/ depended on it for work, for the hospital, for schools, for all sorts of leisure facilities. But since 2002 the links have been disrupted by the Occupation Wall which runs through Abu Dis and divides the town centre from Jerusalem.

Camden links to Abu Dis have been developing since early 2004, and there have been group visits in each direction. Links include education links, health links, women's links, and in each case Camden people work in Camden to extend the understanding of the human rights situation in Abu Dis and in Palestine - and with people in Abu Dis to develop useful projects.

If you live, work or study in Camden, please get involved - there is lots of useful work to do.

For a hard copy report on the April 2005 visit please send £2.50 (includes postage) to;


PO Box 34265

London. NW5 2WD.

Can you help?


Camden Abu Dis Friendship Association have been raising money to bring a group of children to Camden in June, and meanwhile people in Abu Dis have formed a club for children interested in coming which is helping them to develop their English and prepare for their journey here. In fact so many children have been interested in coming that there are currently 3 groups, each meeting 3 times a week. (So although only 8 children will come to London, many more are taking part in the project)

We have been able to find volunteers to help with the English classes and also teach English to others who are interested. Most of these classes are in the Abu Dis Friendship House (a project supported by CADFA) but volunteers have also helped in a local school and in the university.

BUT … our current volunteer has only a week to go and then the children and others will be without an English teacher.

We are looking urgently for someone who would be able to help for a month, before the children come.


For more information please contact us.

Note that there will be a need for volunteers after that too, so please

get in touch if interested in volunteering at a later date.

Camden Abu Dis Friendship Association

camdenabudis at

PO Box 34265 London NW5 2WD

Charity number 1112717

June 2006 - Abu Dis School children visit Camden - from the BBC website

A story of everyday life from Abu Dis

Our women give birth at the Israeli checkpoints and at the wall and the world governments support the Israeli government.

The present situation in the town of Abu Dis and the surrounding towns since the complete closure of the roads and the openings to Jerusalem has become dangerous and tragic. Since they have opened a gate called the Olive Tree Gate they have only allowed people to pass who hold special passes and people over the age of thirty-five.

This has caused the the number of the unemployed to increase, as many people from the area work in Jerusalem, whether in hospitals, institutions or schools.

Worse than all these are the deaths and the births at the checkpoints. A death and four births have happened at the checkpoints around Abu Dis and the surrounding towns.

One of these cases was the wife of Loa'y Qureia who is 20 years of age, and who was expecting her first baby. She was not allowed by soldiers to go through the Bawabe (which is the name given to the last-remaining way through the Wall, guarded by soldiers for 24 hours)

One of the soldiers said to her, "You are not the first or the last of the many who have given birth at checkpoints." The lady and her mother-in-law started begging with him and crying, but he did not change his mind. A short time after that, the labour pains began; she fell on the ground and started to go into labour. When the people around saw this scene that even an animal could not bear, they got very angry and took action and took her to the hospital in defiance of the soldiers. Thank God the baby was born safely.

Until when... we remain oppressed... and the world is watching us and punishing us.

Dr. Abdullah Abu Hillal

Abu Dis, Jerusalem


PRESS RELEASE - 31st January 2007

Camden organisation contributes to House of Commons report on the situation in Palestine.

Camden Abu Dis Friendship Association would like to draw your attention to our contribution to the committee on the situation in Palestine - The House of Commons International Development Committee Report Development Assistance and the Occupied Palestinian Territories was published today. It is sombre reading, because the situation in Palestine is very bad .

In Abu Dis, the little town that now has friendship links with Camden groups, major issues for people's lives are the Separation Wall, "closures" and checkpoints, arrests and invasions by the occupying army. During the last year, the boycotting of the Palestinian Authority by the West has also had a severe effect on people's health and the livelihood of people there.

CADFA is a human rights organisation local to Camden which organises links between Camden and Abu Dis people. Our contribution to this report links the efforts of the people of Camden directly to the situation in the Middle East. As well as visits in both directions and the exchange of information, CADFA has run a number of projects in Abu Dis. During the last year, we have been able to collect information each month on violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law in the area of Abu Dis. These reports (available on the website) were among the evidence we sent in to the House of Commons Committee.

The International Development Committee report is notable because it calls for a reassessment of the government's approach to the situation in Palestine. It stresses the extremely difficult situation that the Palestinian people are living under, and shows that the situation is deteriorating. The Committee points out that it is the actions of the Government of Israel that are making life so difficult for people in Palestine, and suggests that our own government reconsider its acceptance of what Israel does. For example, the Committee questions the policy of isolating a directly elected Palestinian government, questions the special trading position accorded to Israel while fairness is not given to the Palestinians, and points out that ultimately the problem for the Palestinian people is the Israeli Occupation.

During 2007, CADFA will be organising speaking tours by visitors from Abu Dis to Camden, visits from Camden to Abu Dis, a Palestinian storyteller to visit Camden schools, and publishing a small book of writings by Abu Dis children, and another on the memories of people in Abu Dis of the June war in 1967. On Saturday 3rd February, a concert at Rosslyn Hill Chapel will raise money for health projects in Abu Dis.


Download the pdf file from the Committee

Pictures of kites flown in June from Parliament Hill in Camden by the Camden Abu Dis Friendship group. Kites were also flown in Abu Dis.

Monthly report on Israeli violations in Abu Dis,  April 2007.

The Israeli violations on the people in Abu Dis continued during April 2007. There were invasions of houses and arrests during the night. Three students and a teacher from Abu Dis Boys’ School were arrested from their houses;  three children from the same school were taken to give evidence of the attack by the Israeli army on the Boys’ School that had taken place on 14th April. The economic siege on the Palestinian people continued for the fourteenth month. In this report we will give details about the Israeli violations in April, as follows.

Building the Wall & confiscating land

  •  The Israeli authorities told the local council in Azariyeh officially that they wanted to close the historic road that connects Azariyeh and Jericho. This is shown on the map above as Jericho Street. The Wall has already cut the same road, between Jerusalem and Jericho, for the past 4 years. This action prepares for the complete closure of the east area of Abu Dis and Azariyeh, and Israeli bulldozers are still working on the east section of the Wall. In April, the Israeli security authority made a security road surrounded with a steel fencing on the hills which belong to Arizariyeh. This means that they confiscated more land inside Azariyeh itself.

 The economic situation in Abu Dis

  • The international siege on the Palestinian occupied territories, which started in January 2006 continued. There was a strike in the government schools between Wednesday 18th April and Saturday 21st April: the teachers asked for their salaries and they threatened to strike again unless a fair solution to their suffering could be found.
  • On another issue, the area of East Jerusalem is suffering from a shortage of water, because the Israeli authorities have reduced the pressure of water in the East Jerusalem towns. An Israeli company, Mikorot, sent inflated bills to Sawahreh and Azariyeh local council and to Abu Dis Water Society, asking them to pay more than they had really spent on the water.
  • Owing to the economic crisis in Palestine, and with all the strikes which are freezing the organisation of life in Palestine, Al Makassed Health Centre announced that they did not have any more medicine to give to people. This used to come from the Palestinian Health Ministry. This has badly affected people of all walks of life in Abu Dis.

Israeli violations at the checkpoints round Abu Dis

The Israelis have now sealed off Jerusalem very thoroughly and there are only two ways that people can go there by car, if they are allowed. The Palestinians are now using the word “ma’bar” (translated into “terminal”) to describe the huge checkpoints that are like international frontiers that are the ways through the Wall. For the people of Abu Dis, these two terminals are Azzayam, open to people with Jerusalem IDs, and Jabal al Zaytoun, open only to West Bankers – and only if they have permits to go to Jerusalem. (Note that most people in Abu Dis have West Bank IDs but a minority have Jerusalem IDs)

  •  On Thursday 19th April, the Israeli police closed the main road near Maale Adumim at 5 o’clock in the afternoon and they stopped an ambulance belonging to the Palestinian Red Crescent. The people there said that the driver of the ambulance, when he saw the Israeli police jeep heading towards him, left the ambulance and ran away. The police stopped the cars from travelling to Azariyeh for more than four hours, which led to a tremendous build-up of traffic.

· On Sunday 29th April, Israeli soldiers at Bawabe checkpoint and Al Zaytouneh terminal refused to allow Rasha Abu Rish to pass through the checkpoints and reach the hospital.

· On Sunday 29th April, the Israeli soldiers both at the Al Bawabeh checkpoint and at the Al Zeituneh terminal prevented Rasha Abu Al Rish from going to the Al Makassed Hospital although she was in labour. Her husband took his wife to the checkpoint at around 11 pm just before midnight, but the soldiers refused to let him go through. They went to the Al Zeituneh terminal, but the soldiers refused to allow them to pass through there either. Time was getting on, so Aamer (the father) range one of his friends from Jerusalem who came by a long route and took Rasha on her own to the hospital via the Azzayem checkpoint and in a way that is not legal. It is worth mentioning that a lady from Abu Dis had her baby at the checkpoint the previous month after the soldiers refused to let her go through the checkpoint to the hospital to have her baby.

Arresting and invading houses

During this month the Israeli authorities continued the policy of arresting people. Three youths and a teacher were arrested in April following the invasion of their houses by Israeli soldiers.

  • On Tuesday 10th April, an Israeli military vehicle which was passing near Abu Dis Girls’ School was hit by stones and the soldier started to chase the children who had thrown the stones. They entered the house of Hassan Mohammed Eriqat and the soldiers arrested his child, Mohammed Hassan Eriqat who is in the 8th grade in Abu Dis Boys’ School. The soldiers took him to Maale Adumim Police Station and before his father reached there, they forced him to sign on a paper, written in the Hebrew language, saying that he was among the children who had thrown stones. They sent him to Ofra jail.
  • On Thursday 26th April, an Israeli military force invaded the houses of Majdi Fowzi Salah and Abdullah Omar al Ayyan. The two of them are students in Abu Dis Boys’ School, both in the tenth grade. Abdullah, who was released on the 3rd May, said that the intelligence officer, together with two soldiers, had beaten him and forced him to sign on a paper written in Hebrew, saying that he had been on a demonstration and had thrown stones. Majdi said that six military jeeps had come to his house and fifteen soldiers had entered the house; they had arrested him and tortured him at the police station, but he refused to sign. Although he did not sign or admit to anything, his parents, like the parents of Abdullah, were made to pay 1,500 shekels bail in order to have their child released temporarily. Both children have been called to court on the 30th July.
  • Also on Thursday 26th April, the Israeli authorities arrested Hussain Jamous, who is a teacher in Abu Dis Boys’ School, when an Israeli force invaded his house late in the night.

 Prisoners’ affairs

During the years of the Occupation, hundreds of people from Abu Dis have been arrested, usually for peaceful resistance against the Occupation, such as demonstrations. Among these there have been many children. At the end of April 2007, there are 65 prisoners from Abu Dis in Israeli jails. Among them there are 29 children from Abu Dis schools, including a girl.

  •  On Thursday 5th April, Dawoud Mohsen was released from Israeli prison after six months.
  • On Monday 9th April, Ramseh Adel Salah and Mohammad and Hamseh Salah were released from Israeli prison after six months.
  • On Tuesday 10th April, an Israeli military court renewed the period of arrest of Mahmoud Jamil Eriqat (university student) and Mohammad Salah Eriqat (11th grade, Abu Dis Boys’ School) until their next court appearance on 3rd June. Note that Mahmoud was arrested on 27th March.
  • On Tuesday 10th April, for the second time, an Israeli military court refused the request made by Ibrahim Jaffal to reduce his sentence of 22 months. Ibrahim tried via his lawyer to reduce his sentence so he can start at university next September. Note that Ibrahim had his towjehi (school finishing exam) inside jail in May 2006, having been arrested in February 2006.
  • On Thursday 26th April, an Israeli military court gave Mohammad Hassan Eriqat (8th grade, Abu Dis Boys’ School, see above)a sentence of three months and a fine of 5,000 shekels
  • On Sunday 29th April, Ateeyeh Hani Oraybeh was released from Israeli prison after six months.
  • On Monday 30th April, Khalid Khamees Bahr was released from Israeli prison after twenty-one months.

Abu Dis Boys’ School

  • The Israeli authorities wanted to talk to the doctor who saw the boys who were injured in the attack on 14th February, and to the children who were hurt. The school head teacher at first refused to take the children to a military place for questioning, and requested that the Israeli investigating officer should visit the school. As this did not happen however, he accompanied the boys to the Civil Department to meet the investigator because he was anxious that the investigation should not be held up.
  • On Sunday 22nd April, three of the children who had been injured in the school attack went along with their head teacher to the Civil Department at Al Zeituneh terminal and they gave their statements. They confirmed that the soldiers had beaten them inside their school classrooms and gave all the details about the attack on the children
  • At the end of April, the Israelis sent an order to Mo’een Abu Hilal, a teacher in the Boys’ School. to come to the Civil Department to meet the intelligence. He was asked for information about what happened in the school.
  • Conclusions and recommendations

We are calling on the international community and all the people who are standing by the Palestinians to make some pressure on Israel as an occupying force to stop the violations against the international humanitarian law and all the human rights agreements. In particular

(1) to note the Hague decisions paragraph 133, 152 and 153 and the decision of the International Court of Justice, 9th July 2004 about stopping the work on the illegal Separation Wall in the occupied lands including East Jerusalem and the suburbs of East Jerusalem and to destroy all the bits that are already built.

According to The Hague agreement signed in 1907 paragraph 152, occupation forces must not confiscate lands or properties from the people under occupation. Since Israel signed an international agreement about the civilian and political rights which came out from the United Nations in 1966, and the international community started to work on it in 1976, so Israeli according to this agreement has to work with it also and to consider East Jerusalem and its suburbs as part of this agreement. This agreement says that all the countries who signed must respect the rights of all the individuals who live inside their countries, and an occupying country is responsible for them without any distinction because of the colour, sex, religion, language or political opinion.

(2) also to note the issues about the treatment of prisoners. In particular, the UN Convention against Torture, signed in 1984. defines torture as "Any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him … information or a confession …. punishing him … intimidating or coercing him ..."  This is currently being violated and is affecting many people in Abu Dis and Palestine, and we are calling for your help and support.

CADFA Conference.

Saturday 26th April 2008, at SOAS Vernon Square Centre

Second floor lecture theatre and classrooms; food in common room downstairs

Information and sales stalls, CADFA exhibition.

9.30-10 registration

10 – 10.45 am  Video link to Dar Assadaqa, Abu Dis

speaking to people from health, women, youth committees, Abu Dis students from Al-Quds University and the current CADFA volunteer

10.45 – 11.45 The issues

Speakers and following discussion:

• Prof Hassassian, Palestinian Ambassador to open the conference. The Palestinian issue in 2008

• Stephanie Grant, Human rights lawyer  “60 years of human rights?” – 1948 was the year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

• Amjad Taha, Nabka 60 - refugees+ 1948: the year of the Nakba

• Abu Dis speaker – with pictures – Abu Dis in 2008

• Baroness Jenny Tonge – Encouragement to our twinning movement

Questions and discussion from the floor (brief)

11.45-12.00 Coffee

12.00-1.00- CADFA up to now

• N D - CADFA headlines to date

• Abu Dis speaker – CADFA in Abu Dis

• Small groups –   collecting ideas for what a  group like CADFA could aim to do

1pm-1.45pm LUNCH (provided)

1.45- 3.00 CADFA possibilities (speakers very brief)

Diarmaid Ward– youth

Una Doyle– education

Val  Lunn– women

Nash Ali– community

Shuma Begum – faith groups

Luca Salice – political parties

Nancy Elan– music

David (tbc) – health

Pete Green – academic

Sabah Shah– students

Kevin Courtney – unions

Cristina Piccoli–Volunteering

Tom Eisner   - visits

Carmel Elwell- Publications

Andrea d’Cruz- Prisoner campaign

Kate Harrison– Urgent action campaigns

Abu Dis speaker – from an Abu Dis point of view

Questions and discussion from the floor (brief)

3-3.15  tea break

3.15- 4   Next steps: Workshops (people choose one)

1. Fundraising (led by Carmel )

2. Working with organisations in Camden (led by N D)

3. Website (led by Frances )

4. Publicity (led by Luca)

5. The press (led by Wanda Wyporska)

4.00 - 4.15m Palestinian sweets and juice (for energy!)

4.15 Plenary – CADFA’s next year.

Main points from the workshops, main points from the morning

POSSIBLE brief film from Abu Dis - to be confirmed!

5pm End.

Contact us

Events in 2011

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Women's Tour March 2011

Conference Palestine April 2011

Conference - Liverpool November 2011

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You tube links

Abu Dis Kids in Camden - June 06

Adel on life under occupation in Abu Dis, Palestine

A Palestinian Woman

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The Israeli Apartheid wall "security barrier"

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Zaytoun Olive Oil

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Getting there - Airlines activists use

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