Human rights campaigners from Lewes lend a helping hand in Palestine

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Two Lewes human rights campaigners journeyed to Palestine this week to help rebuild the home of a family whose West Bank dwelling was demolished by the Israeli Army to make way for illegal settlements.

Adrian Briggs, 66, a retired social worker, and Linda Calvert, 58, a ceramicist, are supporters of the British Amos Trust charity which works for peace and reconciliation in ‘hot spots’ throughout the world including Palestine/Israel.

They were among 20 volunteers who went to Battir, a village near Bethlehem, to rebuild a Palestinian family’s home alongside family members and local villagers, co-ordinated by Palestinian community organisation The Holy Land Trust.

Adrian and Linda, who are also active members of the Lewes Amnesty Group, have already raised £2,800 to support the community rebuild project with the costs for building materials and employment of skilled local workers.

Adrian said the aim was to support ordinary Palestinian and Israeli families who want a peaceful resolution to the conflict which blights so many lives. He said: “Battir is a beautiful village and has been proposed by the Palestinian Authority as a World Heritage site, but it is menaced by the advance of the Separation Wall and the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements.

“As part of Israel’s illegal occupation of the West Bank of Palestine and East Jerusalem homes of ordinary Palestinian families are regularly demolished and their land expropriated to make way for Israeli settlers, the building of the Separation Wall, as collective punishment or for military purposes. More than 24,000 family homes have been demolished since 1967.”