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

Where we work

Christian Aid in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory

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, as Palestinians continue to experience exile, blockade, relentless spikes in violence and huge increases in land dispossession, we work with Palestinian and Israeli partners to protect human rights and promote resilience for Palestinian communities and civil society. 

All our work aims to support the foundations for a just, lasting peace for all.

Our aims

  • Protect, promote and defend human rights for the protection of Palestinians in the Middle East.
  • Strengthen the resilience of individuals, communities and institutions so they can respond when faced with threats to their lives, land and livelihoods.
  • Deliver humanitarian responses that are accountable, impartial and strengthen local capacity.

We work on

Protecting 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. We support individuals and communities to claim their rights and fight to end impunity. Our partners’ work is crucial in promoting awareness of the context in the region and worldwide, exposing human rights violations and putting pressure on authorities to hold them to account. We support institutions and communities that will make peace possible and hold the Israeli government to account for breaches of human rights and international law, with the goal of ending the conflict, occupation and the blockade.

Promoting resilience

The prolonged Israeli occupation, including coerced displacement, land, sea and air blockade of Gaza, has devastated the livelihoods of Palestinians.  Many of the communities we support are unable to access their land or vital resources, such as water. We support the resilience of these communities by developing community-led approaches to ensure they have a greater ability to respond when faced with emergencies and threats to their 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 impact.

Transforming power to build peace

We support individuals and communities, in the Middle East and beyond, to understand what’s driving poverty and violence as the first step towards a just peace. We work with partners who challenge abuses of power through international institutions such as the International Criminal Court.  All our work promotes transparent and inclusive approaches towards justice.  In this way we contribute to peace and security for all.

Humanitarian response

Ongoing insecurity, violence and disaster in the region continue to affect the lives of Palestinians and Israelis. When violence erupts or a global pandemic threatens, we respond through our local partners to provide immediate, impartial and accountable humanitarian support. Our partners on the ground continue to provide support in the weeks, months and even years after violence or disaster has occurred, enabling communities to recover, rebuild and be stronger to face the next emergency.

Where we work

Our partners work across Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT, which means Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem).  In Israel we support work that protects the rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel.  In OPT we support the most vulnerable and marginalised people at risk. Our partners are leading Palestinian and Israeli organisations striving to promote justice for a sustainable 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

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.

Key achievements

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

The diminishing hope of peace

Huffington Post: 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.

Read more

Huffington Post: 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.

Read more
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Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory (IoPt)