Friday, June 6, 2008

Mairead Corrigan Maguire - Nobel Peace Laureate, 1976 - visits raided facilities of ICS and stays at the orphanage over night

Mairead Maguire, Irish Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, recently visited the Orphanages of Hebron while on a visit to the Occupied Territories to support non violent resistance there. Despite her experience with many suffering peoples, she said that she was shocked and disheartened by the havoc and ruin being created by the Israeli Army in the lives of the poorest and weakest of Palestinian society, the orphans and the poor. The orphanages are at the heart of programs run by the Islamic Charitable Institutions in Hebron, who have served the needy of that city since 1962.
Holding the Holy Quran
Inside the raided warehouse

“I was shocked and horrified to see the destruction of these Islamic Institutions. The threats of the Israeli Army and Government against Orphans must be loudly resisted by all of us concerned for a violence free and peaceful world for Muslim Children, indeed for all our children. This behavior is immoral, unethical and illegal. The Israeli Government should be held accountable by the International Community for its abuse of the rights of the children to safety and education. As occupiers of this country they have legal obligations to protect the occupied, especially women and children. “

Inside the wrecked bakery

'' The outside world, for the most part, “Maguire continues, ” is unaware of this Israeli Government’s Policy of demonization and willful destruction of the Muslim Institutions, one by one, in an attempt to destroy the spirit and resilience of the Muslim communities, not only in Hebron but throughout the illegally occupied Palestinian territories. It was for me horrific to witness how the Israeli Government’s, (and the USA/UK Governments’) War on Terrorism comes to be played out on the streets of Hebron against Orphan children. If the schools and orphanages continue to be closed down, and the military continue to destroy completely these institutions, then 7000 children will be without school and 4,500 children will be without homes.''

Having dinner at the Girls' Orphanage

In the kitchen at the Boys' Orphanage

“ The excuse given by the Army” Maguire adds, “ is that these Islamic Institutions are a front for ‘Hamas’ but the Islamic Charitable Society was established in l962, and all their financial dealings and accounting are completely open [and have been so since the founding]. “The money for the school and orphanages comes from local investments (they have their own businesses), from donors abroad and from Arab and Western countries (Prince Charles, through a UK Trust has donated towards these orphanages).”

A coffee break at the Boys' Orphanage

Looking at the wrecked oven

Inside a classroom

At the Girls' Orphanage with CPT and Internationals

“The United Kingdom has many questions to answer here too.” Maguire charges. “Tony Blair is based in East Jerusalem, (a few hours from Hebron), so he is well aware of this systematic and willful destruction of Islamic charitable institutions and his brief is to help
Palestinian economic reconstruction. How ironic whilst he is suppose to be helping businesses etc., the Israeli military are in the dead of night, spreading terror and destruction of the Islamic communities. What are Mr. Blair and the UK governments
doing about this?”

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