Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and Israel

< Back to Where we work

Trócaire works with partners in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) and Israel to support those affected by conflict and human rights violations, as well as helping to raise international awareness around the injustice of human rights violations. 

Facts & figures

Population: 4.1 million
Rural population: 26% (Source: UN ESCWA)
Area: 6,220 square kilometres
HDI rank: 107 out of 187 countries (Source: UNDP Human Development Index
Trócaire here since: 2002
Types of programmes: 1. Governance and Human Rights, 2. Humanitarian Response
Reach: Over 1.2 million people benefitted directly or indirectly from Trócaire’s programmes in OPT in the last year.
No. of partners: 11 programme partners, 3 humanitarian partners

Country context 

For almost half a century, Israel has maintained a military occupation of the OPT (the West Bank and Gaza). Israel continues to displace Palestinian communities by force and confiscate their land, a practice which has been ongoing for over six decades. Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law, have been established on Palestinian land.

Palestinians remain without a state, and human rights violations such as house demolitions, land confiscation, forced displacement, restrictions of movement and violence against civilians occur on an almost daily basis.

In 2014, entire neighbourhoods in Gaza were destroyed in the third Israeli military operation in six years. Almost 1,500 Palestinian civilians and four Israeli civilians were killed.  At time of writing,  over 100,000 Palestinians remain unable to return home, as their houses were destroyed or damaged. Water and electricity networks remain extensively damaged. Combined with the blockade of Gaza, in place since 2007, there is a widespread humanitarian crisis. As a result, 80% of the population of Gaza are dependent on aid.

Violence targeting Israeli citizens is also an abuse of human rights. The security of both Israelis and Palestinians are dependent on each other. Peace for Israelis and Palestinians cannot be achieved without justice and the realisation of human rights for all.

 

Trócaire in OPT and Israel

Trócaire has worked in Israel and the OPT since 2002. Trócaire seeks to build a lasting and just peace in the region based on respect for human rights, international law and the dignity of all. We provide protection and support to people affected by conflict and human rights violations. We work together with both Israeli and Palestinian partner organisations to build peace, raise awareness, and challenge human rights abuses. As well as providing emergency aid and supporting communities on the ground, we advocate and campaign in Ireland and the EU to take stronger action to protect the rights of Palestinian communities and for Israel to uphold international law. 

 

Our programmes 

We provide support on two programme areas:

1. Governance and human rights
This programme aims to challenge the violation of human rights in OPT. We do this by monitoring and documenting human rights violations, and by providing legal support and physical protection to communities. We also carry out international campaigns and advocacy to change the political environment which has allowed the breach of human rights to continue in OPT. At an international level, we encourage businesses to make ethical choices relating to business links with illegal Israeli settlements. 

2. Humanitarian response
We provide support to those affected by conflict at times of immediate crises. We have provided emergency aid, including medical supplies, food and blankets. We are also working with our partners to provide psychological care to children who have experienced trauma during the violent conflict. Furthermore, we support Israeli and Palestinian peace and human rights organisations working for peace. 


Resources

WATCH: 'Stolen Land' a film about a Palestinian farming family whose land was forcibly taken from them 

WATCH: 'Signs from the West Bank' on growth of Israeli settlements on lands confiscated from Palestinians 

View other Trócaire videos related to our work in OPT and Israel (YouTube)

Partner videos:


Our partners

Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR)
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) is an NGO based in Gaza City.  The Centre is dedicated to protecting human rights, promoting the rule of law and upholding democratic principles in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT). PCHR is a recipient of the many international human rights awards. 
www.pchrgaza.org

BADIL - Resource Centre for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights
Badil is an independent, community-based non-profit organisation mandated to defend and promote the rights of Palestinian refugees. Badil seeks to advance the individual and collective rights of the Palestinian people on the principles of international law, in particular international human rights law. 
www.badil.org

Al-Haq
Al-Haq is a Palestinian Human Rights organisation that documents violations of the individual and collective rights of Palestinians in the OPT, irrespective of the identity of the perpetrator, and seeks to end such breaches by way of advocacy before national and international mechanisms and by holding the violators accountable. 
www.alhaq.org 

B'TSELEM (The Israeli Information Centre for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories)
As an Israeli human rights organization, B'Tselem acts primarily to change Israeli policy in the Occupied Territories and ensure that its government, which rules the Occupied Territories, protects the human rights of residents there and complies with its obligations under international law.
www.btselem.org

Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR)
Rabbis for Human Rights describes itself as "the rabbinic voice of conscience in Israel, giving voice to the Jewish tradition of human rights".  RHR opposes the construction of the Israeli West Bank barrier in any place where it entails the expropriation of Arab-owned land, the division of villages, or cutting farmers off from their fields. RHR activists act as human shields during the annual settler violence during the olive harvesting season to protect Palestinian farmers. 
www.rhr.org.il

Breaking the Silence
Breaking the Silence is an organisation of veteran Israeli soldiers that collects testimonies of soldiers who served in the Occupied Territories during the Second Intifada. Breaking the Silence voices the experiences of those soldiers, in order to force Israeli society to address the reality which it has created.
www.breakingthesilence.org.il 

The Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel (EAPPI)
EAPPI brings internationals to the West Bank to experience life under occupation. Ecumenical Accompaniers (EAs) provide protective presence to vulnerable communities, monitor and report human rights abuses and support Palestinians and Israelis working together for peace.
www.eappi.org 

Gisha – Legal Centre for Freedom of Movement
Gisha is an Israeli not-for-profit organisation, founded in 2005, whose goal is to protect the freedom of movement of Palestinians, especially Gaza residents. Because freedom of movement is a precondition for exercising other basic rights, Gisha’s work has a multiplier effect in helping residents of the occupied territories access education, jobs, family members and medical care. 
www.gisha.org 

Hamoked: Centre for the Defence of the Individual
Hamoked is an Israeli human rights organisation whose main objective is to assist Palestinians of the Occupied Territories whose rights are violated due to Israel's policies. Hamoked provides legal assistance to Palestinian victims of Human Rights Violations.
www.hamoked.org 

Who Profits
Who Profits from the Occupation is an Israeli research project dedicated to exposing the commercial involvement of Israeli and international companies in the continuing Israeli control over Palestinian and Syrian land.
www.whoprofits.org

Humanitarian response:

Caritas Jerusalem
Caritas Jerusalem is a humanitarian and development organization that represents the socio-pastoral services of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land. It was founded in 1967 in the aftermath of the Six Day War. Caritas Jerusalem beneficiaries number over 30,000 individuals from all religious backgrounds in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Caritas Jerusalem is a member of Caritas Internationalis, a confederation of 165 Caritas organizations operating in more than 200 countries.
www.caritasjr.org 

Medical Aid for Palestinians
Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) works for the health and dignity of Palestinians living under occupation and as refugees. MAP delivers health and medical care to those worst affected by conflict, occupation and displacement. Working in partnership with local health providers and hospitals, MAP addresses a wide range of health issues and challenges faced by the Palestinian people.
www.map-uk.org/ 

Gaza Community Mental Health Programme
The Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP) is a Palestinian non-governmental, non-profit organization established in 1990 to provide comprehensive community mental health services - therapy, training and research - to the population of the Gaza Strip. 


< Back to country list