The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) is an initiative of the World Council of Churches.
It was set up at the beginning of the Second Intifada, after the United States had vetoed three attempts to pass resolutions in the UN Security Council to send an international force to monitor the plight of civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory.
After the third veto, the WCC responded to an appeal by the Churches in Jerusalem to send international volunteers to monitor human rights abuses by setting up EAPPI. It aims to support Palestinian and Israel organisations committed to non-violent actions to end the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, and to seek a just and lasting settlement of the conflict in accordance with international law and UN resolutions.
Since March 2001, over 700 Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAs) from 17 countries have joined the project. 75 of them have been from the UK and Ireland where it is administered by the Society of Friends (Quakers). Although mostly Christian, EAs come from other faiths, or none at all.
Ann Wright served as an EA on two occasions. First, for three months between February and May of 2006, in the northern West Bank town of Tulkarem. And second, for three months between August and November of 2009, in East Jerusalem. She also travelled to other towns and villages throughout the West Bank, and to many parts of Israel. The following is an account of what she saw.