Approximately 750,000 Palestinians were displaced and became refugees as a result of the 1948 war which led to the founding of Israel. None of these displaced persons were ever allowed to return to the homes or communities from which they were displaced and the Palestinian refugee population has continued to grow in the time that has passed since 1948. Today there are more than 7 million Palestinian refugees scattered around the world. The reality of Palestinian forced displacement is at the core of the Palestinian experience and the Palestinian refugee issue is at the hea
Palestinians hold a Catholic mass as a weekly nonviolent witness against the Israeli separation wall in the West Bank village of Beit Jala, September 7, 2012. If completed as planned, the wall would cut off the Cremisan monastery from the Beit Jala community, blocking access to one of the Bethlehem area's last remaining green spaces, and a source of employment for area residents.
Two women stop to talk while walking through a long encaged walkway at the entrance to the checkpoint between Bethlehem and Jerusalem.
Control of Palestinian movement has been a feature of Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territory since its inception in 1967. However, over the last 14 years the draconian system of movement controls used by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territory has become increasingly institutionalized and restrictive. The permit system put in place in the early 1990s which requires that all Palestinians obtain military issued permits to move between the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem or to travel abroad is now complemented by a permanent system of roadblocks, gates, checkpoin
AFSC’s Peace and Economic Security Program, based in Cambridge, has been busy building social and political movements across a wide range of issues. Our staff – Joseph Gerson, Paul Shannon, and Stephen G. Cary Fellow Sofia Wolman – work as a team to move our nation to prioritize human needs over military-industrial complex wars and profits. See the attached document for an update on our staff's work to change policy and build the movement for peace and justice in Boston and beyond.
Overlooking the illegal Israeli settlement of Shiloh in the West Bank.
Israel’s policy of building settlements in occupied territory is one of the core issues in the conflict. Illegal under international law, settlements are built on confiscated or stolen Palestinian land, are one of the core justifications for the building of the wall and the restriction of Palestinian movement within the West Bank, contribute to forced displacement, severely limit Palestinian access to basic resources including land and water, and perpetuate a system of segregation and legal and structural inequality between Palestinians and Israelis. Understanding Israel’s
AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more
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AFSC has offices around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.