The ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the occupation of Palestinian territory by Israel have limited economic growth and increased poverty for Palestinians.
Movement and access restrictions within and between the West Bank and Gaza have severely reduced Palestinians’ ability to access jobs, natural resources, internal and external markets, and basic services such as adequate water and sanitation facilities, schools, and health clinics.
Restrictions on building and on land use have meant that rural farming and herding communities are living in sub standard conditions and are often unable to develop their traditional livelihoods.
Oxfam in the Occupied Palestinian Territory & Israel
Oxfam has been working in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel since the 1950s with a country office first established in the 1980s. We work with some of the most vulnerable communities throughout the OPT and Israel, with a focus on helping improve the lives of poor Palestinians living in areas physically isolated by policies and practices of the occupation. These locations include Gaza, East Jerusalem, and Area C of the West Bank, where the government of Israel maintains full military and civil control, along with Palestinian villages that are enclosed by Israeli settlements, access restrictions, or the Wall.
In Israel, we work with partners that reach out to communities that have been traditionally marginalized, including impoverished Ethiopian-Jewish communities, Mizrahi and other immigrant women’s groups, disenfranchised youth, Bedouins, and Arab citizens of Israel. We have also supported community groups in southern Israel that promote dialogue and an end to cross border violence. Oxfam also works with Israeli human rights organizations protecting the rights of both Israelis and Palestinians.
Focus of our work
We work to address the root causes of poverty and empower those most affected to move beyond handouts and build a better life for themselves and their families. Together with local partners, Oxfam reaches more than 2 million people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel each year with:
Support for livelihoods and agricultural development
Access to primary education and health care
Public health, water and sanitation
Protection of civilians, human rights, minority rights, rights of women, and refugees.
The Oxfam approach to the OPT and Israel emphasizes how important it is that our programs place people and in particular women at the center of all of our change efforts.
We believe that people can make change – both Palestinian and Israeli, individually and collectively, at local, national, regional and international levels – by engaging in changing attitudes, understandings, and practices and policies that restrict people from living a dignified life and claiming their basic rights.
We believe that real progress towards justice and the elimination of poverty in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel can only be achieved in the framework of a just and durable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in which both Palestinians and Israelis will enjoy human security and peace. Such a solution needs to be based on international law and respect the Palestinian right to self-determination.