Palestinian Territories

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Our response

Development and Peace has been standing in solidarity with the people of Palestine for many years and has continuously responded to the humanitarian crises that have affected the population.

After the 2014 resurgence of violence in the Gaza Strip, Development and Peace worked with Caritas Jerusalem to provide medical supplies, fuel and other necessities that were in short supply. There was also major destruction of infrastructure and housing, and Development and Peace is working with CRS and the Canadian Government to repair and winterize homes, particularly those of the poorest and most vulnerable.

Palestinian Territories Citation

“Without this help, we wouldn't even have a shadow to sleep under," says Abu Hussein, whose home was reduced to rubble during the 2014 war in Gaza. Photo by Caroline Brennan/CRS

Development and Peace is also supporting the Society of St. Yves in the West Bank to address human rights violations suffered by Palestinians, particularly those who have had been displaced from their land for the construction of a separation wall between Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

The scope and duration of this conflict requires a regional response that is focused on peacebuilding and human dignity. Development and Peace is supporting regional organizations that are working at the grassroots level to promote tolerance and create spaces of dialogue so that peace can take root.

 

The issues we work on to build justice:

Humanitarian assistance icon

Humanitarian assistance

Peace and reconciliation icon

Peace and reconciliation

 

The situation

Generations of Palestinians have been living as refugees since 1948 when the State of Israel was created, which displaced millions of Palestinians. Today, there are around 5 million Palestinian refugees in the Middle East. Approximately one-third live in 58 camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, while the rest live in cities near the camps. Social and economic conditions in the camps, as well as in Gaza and the West Bank, are very poor, with high population density, cramped living conditions and inadequate basic infrastructure such as roads and sewers.

Over the decades, there have been flare-ups of violence in Gaza and the West Bank that have caused mass destruction of infrastructure, cut electricity and water, and significantly traumatized the population, most recently in August 2014. Renewed fighting at the time left over 100,000 people displaced, and destroyed schools and hospitals. Embargoes make it extremely difficult for the population to recover from these events, leaving them in a constant state of humanitarian crisis.

The construction of a separation wall between Israel and the Palestinian Territories has further impacted the living conditions for Palestinians. Many have been displaced from their land, access to employment has been cut off, and freedom of movement has been significantly reduced.

News
Canadian ambassador inaugurates new Caritas Jordan centre
December 6, 2016

Caritas Jordan has opened a new refugee centre with support from Development and Peace-Caritas Canada and the Canadian government.

Solidarity with the people of Palestine
November 29, 2016

In solidarity with the people of the Palestinian Territories, Development and Peace supported the production of the documentary Open Bethlehem, which shows the impacts of the wall, as told from the viewpoint of filmmaker...

August 8, 2014

Development and Peace joins with Pope Francis and with all those who seek a lasting peace in the Middle East based on the principles of justice, on the recognition of the rights and dignity of each individual and on assurances of mutual security.

August 6, 2014

As a three-day ceasefire continues between Israeli Forces and Hamas, there are hopes that this suspension of hostilities will lead to a more durable peace. As part of the truce, both sides will enter into peace talks in Egypt in the coming days.

August 1, 2014

Since early July, almost two million Palestinians in Gaza and people in Israel have been caught up in a devastating war. People have no safe place to hide when the bombs rain down on the densely-populated, small stretch land that is Gaza. They see their children slaughtered, their neighbourhoods razed to the ground and all hopes for a future of peace torn to shreds.

July 18, 2014

An escalation of violence in Gaza over the last few weeks has led to significant suffering for the local population. As of July 18th, the United Nations reports that 230 Gazans have been killed during the nearly two weeks of Israeli air raids on the region. There are almost 1,800 Palestinians who have been injured, of which one-quarter are children.

Resources

Open Bethlehem

Development and Peace supported the production of the documentary Open Bethlehem to help bring to light the impacts of the construction of the separation wall on Palestinians and on a city that is a symbol of religious and cultural diversity. The film offers an intimate look by filmmaker Leila Sansour at the iconic city as she chronicles the building of the separation wall in her hometown of Bethlehem. The film spans ten momentous years in the life of Bethlehem, revealing a city of astonishing beauty and political strife.

Open Bethlehem is also an organization that advocates globally to keep Bethlehem open and to work to ensure that the city remains an example of an open and multi-faith city in the Middle East.

You can see the film by renting it on line on Vimeo

 

Host a screening of this documentary film in your community, parish, or school!
Contact your regional animator to borrow or receive a copy of the DVD.

Open Bethlehem Discussion Guide

This discussion guide was created by Development and Peace to inspire discussion during screenings of the documentary film Open Bethlehem. Discussion Guide PDF

 

The Open Bethlehem project invites us to learn more about the situation of the ancient and iconic town of Bethlehem, and to work to make Bethlehem an open city: www.openbethlehem.org