I-Witness Palestine is a Los Angeles-based group that focuses on training, funding and support for members of the Southern California community who wish to travel to Palestine. We believe that witnessing the effects of the Israeli Occupation is an important way to counter misconceptions about the conflict.

Contact Us: info@iwitnesspalestine.org

 Peace Needs Bridges Not Walls





Programs that we recommend:


An-Najah University - Zajel Youth Exchange Program

An-Najah University in Nablus, Palestine organizes the Zajel Youth Exchange Program.  Since 2000, this program has  fostered international and inter-cultural understanding, and enhanced social development in the Nablus area, in the Northern West Bank.

They organize a Summer Work Camp program for young people, up to 35 years of age.  It unites approximately 20 volunteers from around the world to engage in community development work, including work with children in refugee camps.  The Summer Work Camps are run by young people, for young people.

Zajel also offers long-term voluntary work placement at the Public Relations department of An-Najah University.  This can involve many things, including presenting news on their local radio station, flim making, office volunteering, international networking or various aspects of journalism.  Many possibilities are open to interested volunteers, and housing is provided for.

For more information: http://youth.zajel.org/

Birthright Unplugged
Birthright Unplugged is a program designed primarily for young Jewish people to visit the Palestinian occupied territories.  We realize that this experience is largely missing from most Jewish-led trips to the Middle East.  As American Jews, we have a specific responsibility to understand the situation well and to promote concepts of social justice and human rights for all people in the world.  Birthright Unplugged welcomes participants of all ages and backgrounds.

In six days, we visit Palestinian cities, villages and refugee camps and help participants develop an understanding of daily life under occupation.  We meet with Palestinian and Israeli community leaders, NGO representatives, peace activists, political figures and families.  We encourage participants to be deeply reflective and give them a chance to ask tough questions.

The participants are generally people who are already in the country, either having just completed a conventional Jewish-led tour in Israel or studying in an international program at an Israeli institution.

Trips are facilitated by two women who have spent extended periods in Palestine/Israel. They are experienced trip leaders in the West Bank, and have lived or worked in all the communities where we spend time. 

For more information: http://www.birthrightunplugged.org/

Birzeit University - Palestine and Arabic Studies
Birzeit University continues to encourage international students to enroll in the international student program. Aside from the academic courses offered, a semester with the Palestine and Arabic Studies program offers international students a unique opportunity to be at the center of the scene. Students majoring in journalism, international relations and Middle Eastern Studies for example, will be able to hear from Palestinians why the Oslo Accords could not bring peace, what are the prospects facing Palestinians, where we go from here. They will see with their own eyes the untold story of a largely unarmed people humiliated and daily oppressed by the largest military power of the Middle East.
Approximately 50 international students are expected this summer. Prospective applicants interested in learning about the experiences of current or last summer's PAS students, will be connected to a correspondence contact upon request.
Application deadline: May 30 - Applications arriving after this date will be considered for approval, but will incur a US$25 late-application fee.

More info at: http://home.birzeit.edu/pas/

Christian Peacemakers Team

Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) offers an organized, nonviolent alternative to war and other forms of lethal inter-group conflict. CPT provides organizational support to persons committed to faith-based nonviolent alternatives in situations where lethal conflict is an immediate reality or is supported by public policy.

CPT works in various countries, in Palestine they are based in Hebron. CPT has been in Hebron since 1995, witnessing to the need for peace in a violent and sometimes desperate situation.

Activities include school accompaniment, documentation and human rights reporting, nonviolent trainings, regular visits to families involved in the Campaign for Secure Dwellings (CSD) and joining with Palestinians and Israeli peace groups to develop action campaigns that expose the face of the Occupation are all part of the Hebron Team's work.

Hebron campaign: http://www.cpt.org/hebron/hebron.php
CPT Homepage: http://www.cpt.org/index.html

The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions Summer Work Camp in Jerusalem
Since 2003, the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) has offered a summer work camp intended to foster learning, discussion, and friendship between Palestinians, Israelis and internationals. Our cooperation will send a clear message to the world: We refuse to be enemies; together we resist the Occupation. For two weeks, peace and human rights activists participate in joint projects and workshops together with the local community. The program will center around rebuilding a Palestinian home that was demolished by the Israeli authorities for “administrative reasons.”

The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) is a non-violent, direct-action organization that resists Israel's Occupation through opposing its policy of demolishing Palestinian homes. ICAHD also resists all other oppressive occupation policies “on the ground:” land expropriation, settlement expansion, policies of "closure," the destruction of Palestinian agriculture and infrastructure, construction of the "Separation Barrier" and all other attempts to prevent the establishment of a viable Palestinian state. ICAHD works closely with Israeli, Palestinian and international peace and human rights organizations.

Camp Activities
The main activity of the camp will be the actual rebuilding of the home, from the foundation to the roof! Additionally, participants will join “critical tours” of Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Negev desert, the Galilee, and the “Triangle Area” in northern Israel, where they will learn about “facts on the ground:” house demolitions, settlement expansion, the “Separation Barrier,” checkpoints, and other components of the Occupation and the conflict. Discussions, dialogues, lectures and panels by leading Palestinian and Israeli NGO representatives will also take place throughout the two weeks at Beit Arabiya. Through exposure to and education about the Occupation alongside the rebuilding, the work camp will be transformed into a site for discussion, cooperation, and constructive resistance while creating a supportive community of Palestinians, Israelis, and internationals.

For more information about ICAHD: http://www.icahd.org/eng (as of June, the summer work camp was not clearly listed on their website. To inquire about the camp specifically, send an email to info@icahd.org.)

International Solidarity Movement
The International Solidarity Movement is a Palestinian-led movement of Palestinian and International activists working to raise awareness of the struggle for Palestinian freedom and an end to Israeli occupation. We utilize nonviolent, direct-action methods of resistance to confront and challenge illegal Israeli occupation forces and policies.

More info at http://www.palsolidarity.org

International Women's Peace Service
IWPS-Palestine is an international team of women based in Haris, a village in the Salfit Governorate of Occupied Palestine's West Bank, which began for three continuous years in August 2002. IWPS-Palestine documents human rights abuses, nonviolently intervenes in abuses, and works with the media. IWPS-Palestine joins Palestinians in acts of nonviolent direct action to oppose human rights abuses and the confiscation and destruction of land and property of Palestinian people. This includes joining demonstrations and opposition to the Apartheid Wall, helping remove roadblocks, and accompanying ambulances and Palestinians whilst they farm. IWPS-Palestine supports Palestinian and Israeli anti-occupation groups in their grassroots resistance to end the brutal and illegal military Occupation.

More info at http://www.womenspeacepalestine.org
Request Volunteer Applications at: iwpsvolunteers@yahoo.co.uk

Middle East Fellowship
Middle East Fellowship sponsors delegations to Palestine, Israel and Jordan.  All travel programs are arranged and developed in full partnership with their Sister organization, Holy Land Trust, in Bethlehem.

For more info: Middle East Fellowship: http://www.middleeastfellowship.org

Project Hope
From Project Hope's Mission Statement: Project Hope provides opportunities for the Youth of Palestine. We bring together internationals and Palestinians to teach language classes, produce drama and art, and provide other important activities in the local community. Through alternatives to violence, we are improving both the physical and mental health of the children. Many of our programs are geared to the community at large, with training courses to provide skills to people that will improve their everyday lives. Project Hope works to improve the condition of Palestinian women. They are very active in running our programs, as well as participating in them. Project Hope is also active in the medical field, aiming to improve basic medical knowledge within the community and helping to acquire new medical supplies. Through education and recreation, along with the serious involvement of women, we provide hope to the people and enrich the community. Medical and training courses help with the actual aspects of everyday life and survival. Our involvement provides an alternative to a desperate and violent environment, with the goal of improving their mental health. Our focus on children provides hope for the future.

More info at http://projecthope.ps/

Last Updated on 10/16/05