Palestine / Israel

Our Approach

The official peace negotiations are stagnating. Frustration about this is on the rise and bears a high risk for new escalations of violence. At the same time, on both sides civil society groups are active for an end of occupation and a just peace, with nonviolent means.

Against this background, within the framework of the Civil Peace Service we support our local partners to achieve the following main objectives:

  • Actors and initiatives that are part of the nonviolent, human rights-based movements, have increased their capacities in participation mechanisms, expressing their concerns and addressing these nonviolently. Women & women initiatives in particular develop their own modes of participation.
  • Actors and initiatives that are part of the nonviolent, human rights-based movements pursue more effective approaches and structures that contribute to their safety and that of other (Women) Human Rights Defenders (W/HRD).
  • Actors and initiatives that are part of the nonviolent, human rights-based movements, develop lobby and advocacy strategies. By advocating for their concerns they specifically reach the promotion and protection of human rights and W/HRDs in a wider public as well as relevant decision-makers in the region and abroad, in order for these to more effectively engage in promoting an end of the occupation.

More from the Projects

Fotobuch Sumud

Photo Book

"Sumud - Existence is Resistance". The women from Al-Walajah do gardening and handicrafts and thus offer resistance. The book uses their own photographs and explanations to show how survival behind checkpoints and barbed wire is possible. Sumud means resistance. 

Our Partners in the Region:

Based on the results of the feasibility study “Participation of women in the Palestinian non-violent resistance” in 2015 KURVE Wustrow initiated an exchange with a self-organised women's initiative in the village of Al-Walajah near Bethlehem in 2016. This resulted in a cooperation project within the framework of the Civil Peace Service with this active group of women.

Geopolitically this village is an important part of the Palestinian “non-violent resistance”. Parts of the village are within Area B, parts within Area C, while other parts belong to the municipality of Jerusalem. Al Walaja thus reflects the complex and, at times, absurd reality of the implementation of the “Oslo Peace Accord”. Moreover, the village is potentially subject to being completely surrounded by the separation wall. Villagers thus already call their village “Little Gaza”. Focus of the cooperation with KURVE Wustrow is supporting the women’s capacity for Soumout (“existence is resistance”) and to increase their opportunities to achieve a higher quality of life. This means that for Palestinians living amid increasing repression, simply staying put is a success in its own right. Within the context of the project working towards these goals proceeds on the development of gardens as foundations for subsistence farming and as social spaces. The approach the women themselves have chosen for empowerment and their engagement in the village community are the basis for civil society activism. The experience with processes of solidarity that are based on collaborations in cultivating their gardens increases mutual trust in the group. Key values of this approach of “community organizing” are based on self-determination, social justice and solidarity. The aims of this approach  are, among others, the creation of space for collective engagement, a strengthening of social relations within the village community and  a strengthening of one’s own agency within the marginalized circumstances of life.

Video about the land grab of the village Al-Walajah / English.

Youth Against Settlements (YAS) in Hebron have been founded in 2008 and are an initiative entirely run by volunteers. They run a youth and education centre in a Palestinian house, which had been occupied first by the Israeli military and then by settlers, but which has been won back for Palestinian use through nonviolent action. Goal of YAS is the strengthening and education mainly of young Palestinians, to encourage them to stay in the areas which are threatened and affected by settlements, to withstand and bear nonviolent resistance. Activities include direct action like for example the annual Open Shuhada Street Campaign. Also, they organize a nonviolent protection group, which supports residents who are affected by violence of settlers, by protecting presence and media work.

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Project Details at a Glance

Title:

“Strengthening nonviolent initiatives“

International Peace Worker:

Marcel Goeke (YAS)

Dario Rossi D'Ambrosio (YAS) - in preparation

Corinna Bender (Women's Initiative Village Al-Walajah)

Angelina Hoeher (Women's Initiative Village Al-Walajah) - in preparation

Maria S. Clemente

Dagmar Seybold (Regional Coordinator in Al-Walajah)

Contact Person

John Preuss

jpreuss [at] kurvewustrow [dot] org (jpreuss(at)kurvewustrow.org)

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