Save the valley in Cremisan: Support bridges, not walls!
  • Petitioned Israeli Authorities

This petition was delivered to:

Israeli Authorities

Save the valley in Cremisan: Support bridges, not walls!

    1. Petition by

      Society of St. Yves

In the light of the upcoming decision of the special committee for appeals against the separation wall we call upon committee members and the Israeli authorities to:

-          Respect international law under which the planned construction of the wall on Palestinian lands is illegal!

-          Leave the educational compound of the Salesian Sisters untouched so that they can continue with their mission to serve the children of the surrounding communities!

Further we call upon the international community to support the Palestinian struggle against the wall and call upon Israel to fulfill its obligations under international law.

Cremisan is one of the last remaining agricultural areas for the Bethlehem area. The local landowners grow olives, fruit trees and grapes for the local Cremisan wine in the valley, the land is cultivated well and the old terraces are carefully kept.

Further the valley is used by people from the whole surrounding area for their family outings - on the weekends children play in the olive groves and families meet to spend time in the nature.

Beside all practical arguments, the valley is a unique living cultural and historical landscape.

Cremisan is in immediate danger to be destroyed: After the construction of the Israeli separation wall the community will be cut off from the valley. More than 50 families – mainly Christians – and two Salesian convents will lose their lands. Further, the Salesian Sisters Convent and School, which is giving education to more than 400 children from the surrounding villages, will be surrounded by military presence and separated from each other.

The plans of the Israeli authorities call for urgent action:

The planned route which is contrary to International Law, can be changed in order to minimize the damage to the life of the local community. Therefore we call upon the Israeli authorities to get its hands off Cremisan!

1.       According to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice, the separation barrier in general is contrary to international law. Cremisan lies behind the borders of 1967 and is mainly privately owned Palestinian and Christian land even. According to experts from The Council for Peace and Security, an association of high-ranking Israeli security experts, the now planned route is neither necessary nor logic for serving the Israeli security needs.

2.       The right to education is a basic human right. The planned route of the wall will put an end to the educational compound of the Salesian sisters in Cremisan. The school will be surrounded by heavy military presence, turning the school into a prison. 400 Palestinian children – girls and boys, Muslims and Christians alike, mainly from needy families – will either be endangered by this military presence or will have to leave their school.

3.       Seizing mainly Christian land is an attack on a religious minority which is specifically forbidden by international law. States should protect the existence of minorities and not confiscate their land and source of living as this forces them into migration, exile and displacement. Although emigration is a normal process among all nations, Christian emigration from the Holy Land is a unique one. Emigration from such a small community represents one of the major constraints, affecting population growth and threatening the future existence of Christians in the Holy Land at large.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 6,000 signatures
    2. Israeli court rules in favor of building the wall in the Cremisan!

      The special appeals committee released Wednesday their verdict approving building the separation wall in the Cremisan Valley and rejected our appeals against it.
      The decision ignore the fact that the Silisian Nuns Convent and its primary school will be surrounded by the separation wall. The wall will also confiscate most of the lands of the convent and the citizens of Beit Jala. Freedom of religion and the right to education are among the many rights that will be violated by building the wall in the Cremisan as well as the effect it will have on the unique texture of the christian minority in Beit Jala.
      St. Yves, on behalf of the convent, is considering appealing to the Israeli High Court against the decision...

    3. Reached 5,000 signatures
    4. 4500 signatures!

      With your amazing efforts and support we got to 4500 signatures within two weeks!

      Among those who signed so far:
      The Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land, Cordaid Netherlands, Beit Jala's twin city partnership in Germany – Bergisch Gladbach, Beit Jala's twin city partnership in Frence - Aubervilliers, Catholic Relief Services, as well as the NPO Helping Children in the Holy Land, Japan.

      Please continue your support towards our 10,000 signatures goal by sharing the petition with your friends and mailing lists. Send this also to your local policy makers and parliament members.

    5. Mass and press conference in the Cremisan

      On Friday 8th of February, a press conference and a protest mass were held on the lands of the Cremisan Valley in objection to building the separation wall in the area.The press conference comes a few days before the final court hearing in the Special Appeals Committee on Tuesday, 12th of February. It was organized by the Beit Jala Municipality in cooperation with St. Yves, the Applied Research Institute- Jerusalem (ARIJ) and Kairos Palestine.
      Hundreds of Palestinians and internationals as well as the land owners were present in support of the Cremisan valley, as well as several local and international media agencies and journalists that were present to cover the conference.
      The mass was celebrated by the former Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah together with the Beit Jala parish priest Father Ibrahim Shomali.
      Among those who attended were the General consul of the UK, Sir Vincent Fean; Advisor of President Mahmood Abbas, Siad El-Bandak; as well as the Mayor of Beit Jala, Nael Salman.

    6. Reached 4,000 signatures
    7. 1,000 signatures!

      With your amazing efforts we reached 1,000 signatures in one week! Please continue your support by sharing the petition with your friends, contacts and writing your local policy makers and Parliaments.
      To get the latest updates on the Cremisan, join our page on Facebook:

    8. Reached 1,000 signatures
    9. Press conference in Cremisan

      The citizens of Beit Jala and the Beit Jala Municipality in Cooperation with the Society of St. Yves, the Applied Research Institute- Jerusalem (ARIJ) and Kairos Palestine are honored to invite you to show support and solidarity with the people of Cremisan who are fighting against the Israeli administration’s decision to annex the lands of Cremisan valley by building the separation wall on privately owned Palestinian land.

      This invitation comes a few days before the final court hearing for the Cremisan Case in the Special Appeals Committee against the Wall.

      Therefore, we invite you to attend the weekly mass that takes place on the lands of the Cremisan Valley on Friday 8th of February 2013 at 3:30 pm.

      The mass will be followed by a press conference.

    10. Reached 250 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Filip Ryba MIELEC, POLAND
      • 8 months ago

      People fates are important for me.

    • Joris van Voorst tot Voorst VUGHT, NETHERLANDS
      • 8 months ago

      The wall is against freedom of religion, freedom of education and freedom to live!

    • Hilda Wahhab CHINO HILLS, CA
      • 9 months ago

      Humanity,fair and freedom

    • Jane Steenberg PARIS, FRANCE
      • 10 months ago

      No Apartheid Walls in historical Palestine !

      • 11 months ago

      I am concerned as a Christian about the injustice and the inhumanity involved in depriving communities of their land and freedom to live a normal life, as well as the damage to a Christian presence near Bethlehem. I am also concerned that extending the wall in the manner proposed will alienate many who are sympathetic to Judaism and worried about the safety of the State of Israel.


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