Israel + 1 more

Christian Aid in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories update Mar 2003

News and Press Release
Originally published
Most Palestinians in the Occupied West Bank and Gaza continue to live under siege and curfew, including major towns like Nablus, where people have been living under curfew for months. Movement for Palestinians outside their home towns (and often their homes) remains heavily restricted.
As a result, unemployment has soared. People are running out of assets to sell. Shopkeepers can no longer extend credit. The ensuing poverty is deepening quickly - four out of five people in Gaza now live on less than =A31.30 a day.

Israel's closure and curfew of Palestinian territory has failed to make ordinary Israelis feel safe as terror attacks have continued. In the northern West Bank, the Israeli authorities have started to build an eight metre-high wall, confiscating thousands of acres of Palestinian land and isolating villages from their hinterland. Eventually it will surround most of the Occupied West Bank.

Christian Aid has been involved in work with the Palestinians and Israel since the 1950s, working with 22 partner organisations, Palestinian and Israeli, in many sectors: agriculture, health, education, women and human rights.

Programme news

  • Staff members working for Christian Aid partner the East Jerusalem YMCA, have been arrested by the Israeli authorities. They are accused of travelling within the West Bank, something necessary for their jobs.

  • Christian Aid partner the World Council of Churches has launched a new initiative - the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Israel and Palestine. It aims to accompany Palestinians and Israelis in their non-violent actions and witness the effects of Israel's occupation.