A 30-year-old charity worker from North London is travelling to the Middle East as part of a delegation of peace activists from Christian Peacemaker Teams.
Amy Hailwood, who lives in Tottenham and attends an Anglican church in Hornsey, arrived in Jerusalem last week where she joined 15 other peacemakers on a peace mission to Israel/Palestine.
The delegation is meeting with Israeli and Palestinian peace and human rights workers and gain their perspective on the current political and social situation.
Delegates are also documenting the daily reality of life under occupation for West Bank residents, visiting Palestinian families whose lands, homes, and livelihoods have been threatened by expanding Israeli settlements and construction of the “security fence.”
"Globalised communication brings conflict to our TV screens almost daily and can make lasting peace seem naive and impossible,” said Hailwood, who works in Third Sector Communications.
“In this context it is even more important that people concerned about a just solution to the conflict see with their own eyes what conditions are like for ordinary people in Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Hebron. These human connections between ordinary people across the world are our greatest hope for building a peace that lasts."
Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) is a faith-based initiative supported by Mennonites, Brethren, Quakers and several Christian peace groups.
Since 1993, CPT has placed violence-reduction teams in conflict settings in the Middle East, Haiti, Latin America, Europe and North America. CPT has maintained a peace presence in the West Bank since June, 1995.
Hailwood, who grew up in Saudi Arabia and the Caribbean, has lived in London since 1998 when she came to study at the School of Oriental and African Studies.
She currently volunteers as a trained mediatorin Camden working with clients in neighbourhood disputes.
Hailwood’s trip to Israel/Palestine follows the visit to the UK earlier this year of CPT’s founding director, Gene Stoltzfus. He spoke to groups around the UK about nonviolent intervention in situations of conflict and injustice.