Nurse shocked by warzone experiences

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A retired nurse has spoken of her shocking experiences working as a peace worker in a conflict zone.

Rachel Nassif, a former assistant director of nursing in Portsmouth, has returned to her home in Catherington after spending three months working in East Jerusalem, an area at the heart of the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

Mrs Nassif travelled there as an Ecumenical Accompanier.

The aim of the scheme is a resolution to the conflict by ending occupation, while respecting international law.

Mrs Nassif said: 'Although this is an area recognised internationally as Palestinian, Israeli settlers are gradually trying to take over the territory.

'When eight families returned from a wedding party, they found that their home had been occupied by 20 settlers who had barricaded themselves in. One of the families had lived there since 1936.

'They all had to stay out on the street, including a three-year-old.

'There was an elderly couple who were diabetic. I asked the police to let someone in to fetch their medicine. They refused.

'Several court orders were granted returning the house to them, but the police wouldn't enforce them.

'This sort of thing goes on all the time.'

She added: 'Many Israeli people support our work.

'Like us, they want a just settlement for both sides.'