Today, we work with over fifteen 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
- 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.
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:
Through partners we support individuals to claim their rights, end impunity, 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, occupation and the blockade.
Tackling violence, building peace
We support individuals and communities, in IoPt and abroad, to build understanding of the drivers of poverty and violence, and to promote transparent, just and inclusive approaches to tackle violence and contribute towards building a viable peace and security for all.
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.
Ongoing insecurity and violence in the region continues to affect the lives of Palestinians and Israelis. When violence erupts, we respond through our local partners to provide immediate humanitarian support. Our partners on the ground continue to provide support in the weeks, months and even years after violence has occurred, enabling communities to recover and rebuild.
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 education, equipping them to have greater economic opportunities, and to help create a more just and secure future for themselves and their peers.
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.
‘‘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 Amin Sa’ad
Noura Amin Sa’ad lives in the occupied Palestinian village of Beit Skariya 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.
Noura and the community in Beit Skariya have 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 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.
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 psycho-social support to over 3,000 people and publishing 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.
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.
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.
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.