TOGETHER WE RISE
Palestine is a small region of land—roughly 2,400 square miles—that has played a prominent role in the ancient and modern history of the Middle East. Violent attempts to control land have defined much of the history of Palestine, making it the site of constant political conflict. Arab people who call this territory home are known as Palestinians, and the people of Palestine have a strong desire to create a free and independent state in a contested region of the world that’s considered sacred by many groups.
We celebrate and support Palestinians looking to create a better future for themselves, their families and their communities. Palestinians looking to secure traditional loans and funding are often met with road blocks. We seek to economically empower Palestinians by crowdfunding Kiva loans that will enable people to achieve their ambitions, education and projects, which could directly improve households’ income and help integrate Palestinians into the labor market.
FOPN seeks to improve Palestinian lives through safe, fair access to credit; we invest in Palestinians through KIVA Crowdfunding.
Since June 2002, Israel has been building a wall inside the West Bank, which it claims is for security reasons. That might be plausible and legal, if the wall were being build on the recognized borders of Israel (the borders established by the Armistices of 1949, also known as the Green Line). However, because of the Wall’s location – 85% of the route of the Wall is within the occupied territory – the Separation Wall is a violation of international law and human rights.
When the Wall is completed, 9.5% of all West Bank land will be located on the western Side of the Wall and thus will be effectively annexed to Israel. The wall confiscates that Palestinian land in the West Bank, destroys property and permanently alters the physical landscape of the occupied territories. Through home demolition, land confiscation, the uprooting of crops, the isolation of communities and the separation of people from vital resources, the Separation Wall causes great hardship and severe violations of Palestinians’ rights.
Photo: Hamde Abu Rahma, shown above, the Separation Wall surrounds and imprisons the city of Bethlehem, and cuts off residents from their agricultural land.
Apartheid: A policy or system of segregation or discrimination on grounds of race.
The threshold for apartheid is met because the inhuman acts, committed against Palestinians through the denial of access to water in the OPT, are carried out systematically in the context of an institutionalised regime with the intent of establishing and maintaining Jewish-Israeli domination over Palestinians as a group. [i]
Water for one people only.
Israel’s policies and practices in the occupied Palestinian territory have created a situation of occupation in which natural resources are unlawfully exploited and appropriated. Israel’s water policies represent only one element of an irreversible structural process that can only be described as colonial. Israel’s intention to permanently change the status of the occupied territory, de facto exercising sovereignty, reveals itself through the establishment and expansion of settlements in the West Bank (currently over 200) and by the creation of a network of roads and flourishing agricultural enterprises for their benefit. [ii]
Three out of four Palestinian children, some as young as 7 yrs old, arrested by Israeli forces suffer physical violence. They are commonly blindfolded, handcuffed and verbally and physically abused, from the moment of their arrest. They are illegally taken out of occupied territory into Israel and therefore often have no family visits; to enter Israel parents must have a permit that can take months to obtain. These child prisoners have no access to lawyers and no adult protection when they are interrogated. Children are often threatened with reprisals against their families, beaten, and tortured, to force them to confess or agree to become Israeli informants. They are forced to sign confessions in Hebrew, a language they do not understand. The United Nations children's agency (UNICEF) investigated these claims in 2013 and released a scathing report finding that "children have been threatened with death, physical violence, solitary confinement and sexual assault."
A joint investigation by Four Corners and The Australian newspaper reveals evidence that shows the army is targeting Palestinian boys for arrest and detention. This program was the Investigative Journalism Walkley Award winner for 2014.
Watch Stone Cold Justice here:
Photo: By Bilal Timini
An extrajudicial killing is the killing of a person by governmental authorities without the sanction of any judicial proceeding or legal process. Extrajudicial punishments are mostly seen by humanity to be unethical, since they bypass the due process of the legal jurisdiction in which they occur.
There is mounting evidence that, as tensions have risen dramatically, in some cases Israeli forces appear to have ripped up the rulebook and resorted to extreme and unlawful measures. They seem increasingly prone to using lethal force against anyone they perceive as posing a threat, without ensuring that the threat is real. Intentional lethal force should only be used when absolutely necessary to protect life. Instead we are increasingly seeing Israeli forces recklessly flouting international standards by shooting to kill in situations where it is completely unjustified. Israeli forces must end this pattern of unlawful killings and bring all those responsible to justice.
Photo: By Hamde abu Rahma
The Palestinian population in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including occupied and illegally annexed East Jerusalem, continues to endure violence, displacement, dispossession and deprivation as a result of prolonged Israeli occupation, in most cases in violation of their rights under international law. In the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, demolitions are a major cause of the destruction of property, including residential and livelihood-related structures, and displacement.
The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) estimates that some 48,038 Palestinian structures have been demolished in the Occupied Palestinian Territory since 1967, based on information collected from the Israeli Ministry of Interior, the Jerusalem Municipality, the Civil Administration, UN bodies and agencies, Palestinian, Israeli and international human rights groups, our field monitoring, and other sources. [i]
Forced displacement is at the heart of the conflict. Forcibly displacing the Palestinian population was thus the only way to ensure a sustainable Jewish majority in the new state and plans to ethnically cleanse the Palestinian population were therefore developed. [ii]
Photo: By Hamde abu Rahma
Checkpoints, roadblocks and other physical barriers are a constant reality of Palestinian life, especially in the West Bank. 74% of the main routes in the West Bank are controlled by checkpoints or blocked entirely to Palestinians. The vast majority of these obstacles are not on the border between Israel and the Palestinian territories, so they are not for the security of Israel. They are placed throughout the West Bank, isolating Palestinian communities from one another and making a normal life for Palestinians impossible.
Palestinians suffer from restricted access to essentials such as hospitals, jobs, schools, family members, farmland and their own homes. Trips that normally would take a few minutes can take hours due to waits at checkpoints, and extremely long detours due to roadblocks, the Separation Wall, and the segregated highway system that Palestinians are not allowed to use.
There are hundreds of checkpoints, road blocks and other barriers for Palestinians through out the West Bank.74% of the main routes in the West Bank are controlled by checkpoints or blocked entirely to Palestinian traffic. Most major highways in the West Bank are reserved for Israeli use only and are prohibited to Palestinians. Can you imagine having segregated highways here in the U.S.?
Photo: By Hamde abu Rahma, IDF night raid on Hamde abu Rahma's family home, Dec 2014
The information contained in Life Under Occupation, as well as documentation for it, can be found in the links provided. However, some source text has been adapted and supplemented.
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