• September 18, 2001
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    Palestinians Feel the Loss
Palestinians Feel the Loss "I was wondering if you knew where I could go to give blood for the people in America?" This was a question from a Palestinian friend of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) in Hebron, the day after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade centre in New York, and the attack on the Pentagon in Washington on September 11.

This man was just one many who brought forth their sympathies. Since the attack, CPT Hebron has received dozens of phone calls and been approached by dozens of Palestinians on the streets who have offered the team their condolences. Some of those who have called have done so several times.

Despite what many newspapers around the world have been printing, most Palestinians have not seen this as an occasion to celebrate. There have been some who have been as disturbed as the rest of the world.

One man who talked to a team member talked about how all the people of the world had to "return to God's way." Another Palestinian man who came by the CPT apartment asked if the team would be willing to pray with him for those in the US, and throughout the world who had been affected by this.

At the American consulate in East Jerusalem, the Palestinian side of the city, a twenty-four hour vigil started outside the consulate when word of the attack was first announced. It has continued there ever since.

During this time Palestinians, whether they are Muslim or Christian, as well as Israelis and internationals have gone by dropping off flowers and saying prayers for those lost in the attack.

Palestinian leaders have also decried the assault. Since it happened many people have blamed Palestinian terrorist groups for being responsible, but they, along with Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority have denied any involvement and said they are unaware of who is responsible.

This is not he first time CPTers have received condolences from Palestinians over such tragedies. When John F. Kennedy Jr. died, Palestinians offered their condolences for the loss, and many have denounced the terrorist acts of their own people against Israel.

Like one Palestinian man said to a team member recently, "As Palestinians, we know the tragedy that comes from innocent people being killed."