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 over 100
days. 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, isolating villages from their hinterland. Currently nine kilometres long, 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.
Haytham Al-Hammouri, who works for Christian Aid partner the East Jerusalem YMCA, was arrested by the Israeli authorities on 11 October 2002. He is being held without charge or trial.
Christian Aid partner the World Council of Churches has launched a new initiative - the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Israel/Palestine. It aims to accompany Palestinians and Israelis in their non-violent actions and witness the effects of Israel's occupation.