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peace for palestine and israel

UN Photo

The conflict in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel continues to deny thousands of people the basic right to live their lives freely. Together with partner organisations Act for Peace is working for peace and an end to the occupation of Palestine. At the same time, we affirm the right of the state of Israel to exist, and to exist within secure internationally-recognised borders.

The situation in Palestine

The Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN), our principal partner, has outlined some of the problems caused by the ongoing conflict and occupation:

There are more than 4.8 million Palestinian refugees now living in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Gaza and the West Bank. Refugees often live in crowded conditions, with little outside support and basic services.

Palestinians living in Gaza and the West Bank face travel restrictions and mass unemployment. The continued blockade of Gaza and other discriminatory practices have also limited people’s access to basic services such as hospitals, health clinics and schools.

Palestinian children are mistreated. In the past ten years, an estimated 7,000 children have been detained, interrogated, prosecuted or imprisoned within the Israeli military justice system – an average of two children each day. Read a UNICEF report on the issue here.

Israel repeatedly violates international law. For example, numerous UN resolutions have stated that the building and existence of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are a violation of international law.

Settlement construction in the West Bank continues. Activity increased markedly in the first quarter of 2013, and house demolitions and evictions have continued unabated.

What we’re calling for

Successive Australian governments have frustrated the peace process by giving unquestioning political support to Israel and its policies. This is illustrated by voting patterns at the UN, where Australia is among a small number of countries to repeatedly vote against resolutions which support Palestine.

That’s why we’re working with our partners to press the Australian government to play a more active and balanced role on the international stage. In particular, we’re calling for:

  1. Peace in Palestine and Israel, based on UN resolutions and international and humanitarian law
  2. An end to Israeli military control and occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories (West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza).
  3. The right to self-determination of the Palestinian people in a viable and democratic Palestinian state.

Who we’re working with

Act for Peace works with and relies on the expertise and knowledge of partner organisations, all working for peace in Palestine and Israel.

Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN) is a national coalition of churches, unions, Jewish networks, Palestinian groups and development organisations, all seeking to influence Australia’s public policies on Palestine and Israel.

Palestine Israel Ecumenical Network (PIEN) is a group of Australian Christians and Christian aid groups working for lasting peace in Palestine and Israel.

The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI) brings Australians and people from around the world to the West Bank to experience life under occupation. These people monitor the situation in the occupied territories, and then campaign for peace when they return home.

Ways to get involved

  • Book a speaker for your church or community group. PIEN has a list of people who can speak to your church or group who have personal experiences in Palestine:Israel. Contact them to be put in touch with speakers from your area or denomination.
  • Hold an event to honour the 2014 UN International Year of Solidarity with event. Visit the UN website for more information about the year and contact Jess Morrison for assistance with your event.
  • Join a study tour to Palestine. Move beyond the regular tourist trail for an eyewitness experience of Palestine (West Bank, Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem) and the situation for Palestine refugees in the Middle East.
  • Sign up to receive APAN’s newsletter to learn more about upcoming events, latest news and campaign actions to take part in.

More on our projects in Palestine 

More ways to take action

Help keep families at risk from landslides safe by providing training in disaster risk reduction in schools. Training helps children to identify risks and warning signs of landslides, and teaches them how to keep safe if one happens.

Take the Act for Peace Ration Challenge and eat the same rations as a Syrian refugee during Refugee Week (19-26 June 2016). Raise money to support refugees who have lost everything, and challenge perspectives – including your own.

Right now, thousands of innocent people are fleeing Syria every day to protect their families from bloodshed, violence and death. We need your support to provide emergency relief packs to the families fleeing in Syria.