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Palestinian farmers, supported by Christian Aid partner PARC, tend to their land in the Jordan Valley. (Christian Aid / Tom Pilston)

Christian Aid in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory (IoPt)

Christian Aid has been working with the poorest people in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory (IoPt) since the early 1950s, when we provided humanitarian relief to Palestinian refugees.

Today, we work with more than 15 Israeli and Palestinian organisations to protect human rights and build a just, lasting peace for all; provide access to services and resources; and facilitate employment and leadership opportunities for Palestinian youth.

Our areas of expertise

Our work in IoPt is part of the Egypt, Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory (EIoPt) Programme. The following areas of expertise are part of the new EIoPt Programme Strategy (2017-2022), which builds on our long-history of work in IoPt to date.  

Human rights

Through partners we support individuals to claim their rights, promote accountability, lift restrictions and discriminatory policies affecting Palestinians. We support institutions and communities that will make peace possible and hold the government to account for breaches of human rights and international law, with the goal of ending the conflict, Israeli occupation and the blockade on Gaza.

Tackling violence, building peace

We support individuals and communities, in IoPt and abroad, to build an understanding of the drivers of poverty and violence, and to promote transparent, just and inclusive approaches to tackle violence and contribute towards a viable peace and security for all.

Humanitarian 

Ongoing insecurity and violence in the region continues to affect the lives of Palestinians and Israelis. When emergencies occur, we respond through our local partners to provide immediate and ongoing support, enabling communities to recover and rebuild. 

Youth empowerment

Young people have been identified as one the most vulnerable groups in the occupied Palestinian territory. Therefore, as part of our new strategy, we will be working with young women and men to develop their skills in leadership, advocacy and employment skills, equipping them to have greater economic opportunities, and to help create a more just and secure future for themselves and their peers.

Resilience

The ongoing Israeli occupation and the blockade on Gaza has devastated the livelihoods of Palestinians, many of whom are unable to access their land or vital resources, such as water. We continue working to build the resilience of vulnerable communities by developing community-led approaches to ensure they have a greater ability to respond when faced with emergencies and threats to their land, lives and livelihoods. This approach allows communities to take ownership of their own needs and seek solutions that work for them, leading to more sustainable impacts on the ground.

Find out more about our work in Egypt.

‘Being involved in the project I have felt a change in myself. It has made me more confident and more able to face challenges with greater confidence.’
Noura
A member of the YMCA Women's Training Programme

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Noura lives in the West Bank. Her home is surrounded by illegal Israeli settlements. Noura, and other Palestinians like her, find themselves almost completely cut off from access to essential services such as healthcare and education.

Their community has been supported by Christian Aid partner the YMCA Women’s Training Programme to find ways to challenge the Israeli occupation and to build the resilience of individuals faced with threats to their land, lives and livelihoods.

Our aims

  • Protect, promote and defend human rights for the protection of all people in IoPt.
  • Promote greater understanding of the drivers of violence and conflict, explore approaches to tackle violence and build lasting peace and security for all.
  • Strengthen the resilience of individuals, communities and institutions so they can respond when faced with threats to their lives, land and livelihoods.
  • Empower young men and women to have greater economic opportunities for a more just and secure future.

Where we work

In the occupied Palestinian territory, our partners work in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. We also work within the state of Israel, with Palestinian citizens of Israel, and with Israeli organisations working to promote justice and peace.

Results

Human Rights

Our partners work to challenge discriminatory laws, practices and decisions affecting Palestinians living under occupation in the West Bank and Gaza, and Palestinian citizens of Israel. In the last year partners have ensured improved benefits and services for marginalised groups within Israel, including access to pre-school education for more than 5,000 Bedouin children, and schools for Arab children in Nazareth Illit. Our partners work is crucial in promoting awareness of the context in IoPt and worldwide, exposing human rights violations and putting pressure on authorities for more accountability through conventional and social media.

Tackling violence, building peace

We support individuals and communities to have a greater understanding of the key drivers of violence and how to use this knowledge to work for a just peace. One of our partners has developed modules on tackling violence and building peace (TVBP) and so far nearly 100 students have engaged with these modules, guided by facilitators. They cover issues such as peaceful settlement, leadership, basics of human rights, community violence and transformation. The same partner has supported a group of young men and women to develop radio broadcasts on gender-based violence, which has 10,000 listeners throughout the Gaza Strip.

Humanitarian

Following the military offensive on the Gaza Strip in 2014, our partners supported communities with a range of emergency responses, including medical treatment for over 125,000 people, restoring clean water and distributing essential food and non-food items to over 150,000 individuals, legal and psychosocial support to over 3,000 people and exposing human rights violations.

Through our partners, we continue to give children and young people psychological support to deal with the trauma experienced during the latest conflict and have supported over 2,000 individuals through recovery of livelihoods and reconstruction of homes.

Resilience

We work with partners to build resilient communities, livelihoods and sustain the Palestinian economy and agricultural sector. Through a project in 2016-17 with our partner the YMCA, we worked with 1,162 women in six communities supporting them to begin agricultural work, food processing, and facilitating their access to local and international markets.

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A woman from the active Al Aqrabaniya Women's Association in An Nassariya showing off her crops, as part of our work with the YMCA in the Jordan Valley.

Our programmes

The Irish Aid programme in IoPt from 2017 to 2021 focuses on securing human rights, and tackling violence, building peace. This will be achieved through the following primary areas of work with our partners:

  • legal and policy mechanisms,
  • human rights education,
  • bearing witness and standing in solidarity,
  • and advocacy.

Resources

Published
This report uses Christian Aid’s experience of piloting a resilience project in the occupied Palestinian territory to try to establish initial learning and contribute to the sector’s discussions to build understanding of resilience in conflict settings.
Published
This booklet is designed to help you understand the conflict in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory, with a timeline of events and accounts from the people who live there.
Published
An inter-agency report on Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory - how the European Union is absolutely clear that they are 'illegal under international law', yet European policy helps sustain the settlements.
Published
This report asserts that until the refugee and displaced populations from the Arab-Israeli wars of 1948 and 1967 are regarded as a core factor in resolving the Middle East conflict, then peace will remain out of reach.
View more resources

Recent News

The diminishing hope of peace

February 2017: Christian Aid condemns the Israeli parliament law to retroactively legalise the building of almost four thousand settler homes on occupied Palestinian land.

Without hope, peace is a meaningless process

October 2016: The recent spate of violence represents another downturn in this conflict which the world refuses to tackle. The international community possess a legal framework which should work to address key issues to pursue peace.

Where will hell strike next?

June 2015: Palestinian refugees continue to pay a heavy price for the absence of a viable solution to their displacement that is underpinned by international law.

Contact us

Christian Aid IoPt is based in London, United Kingdom, with two consultants based in-country. Our team is comprised of individuals with significant programmatic, humanitarian, advocacy and policy expertise. We also draw on the expertise of colleagues in other Christian Aid teams across the world.

MiddleEast-info@christian-aid.org 

(+44) 20 7620 4444

Christian Aid Middle East
PO Box 100
London SE1 7RL
UK