ALAMEDA -- Though Wadi Foquin faces a bleak situation, the Palestinian village near Bethlehem is receiving help from various sources, including some from within Israel, said Rev. Michael Yoshii of the Buena Vista United Methodist Church, who is helping to spearhead the Campaign to Save Wadi Foquin.

"Israeli women have come to the village in support of women there," Yoshii said.

And despite the encroachment of the disputed Betar Illit settlement and the separation walls that have been -- or are planned to be -- built, Wadi Foquin has a history of peaceful coexistence with its Jewish neighbors.

"The village is located on the Green Line (the demarcation between Israel and its neighbors as per a 1949 agreement), and the neighbors on the other side (the Israel community of Tzur Hadassah, to the west of Wadi Foquin) have been neighbors for years," Yoshii said. "They have been supportive and have gotten along well."

For more information about the project, contact the Buena Vista United Methodist Church, 2311 Buena Vista Ave., Alameda, at 510-522-2688.

"To us, this is a humanitarian issue, not a political one," Yoshii said. "This is a subject of human rights that has to be addressed right now."

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