The overriding goal of the Diakonia International Humanitarian Law (IHL) programme is to increase respect of and further implement international law, specifically international humanitarian law, in Israel and Palestine.
By raising awareness of IHL within Israeli and Palestinian societies and the International Community and by advancing IHLís implementation in this conflict, we hope to contribute to the improvement of the humanitarian situation in the occupied Palestinian territory and promote peace. This includes promoting knowledge and respect for IHL toward a change of policies among decision makers regarding IHL and to improve accountability for the benefit of society and victims.
IHL Programme's mission statement
Diakoniaís IHL program aims at increasing respect for and further implement international humanitarian law in Israel and Palestine, as a means to improve the humanitarian situation, and create a possibility for peace in the region. Lack of knowledge and lack of political will are usually the main reasons for not respecting international humanitarian law. Through this program, funded by Sida, the Swedish International Development Agency, Diakonia addresses the issue of lack of knowledge and awareness to IHL, as well as advocates for its respect.
Why working towards the respect of IHL?
Having been present in Israel and Palestine for over forty years, we have witnessed serious breaches of IHL on both sides of the conflict. Israel continues to occupy the West Bank, including East-Jerusalem; and Gaza, it continues to build the Wall largely on occupied territory and allows for the construction and expansion of settlements. From the Palestinian side, rockets continued to be aimed at civilian targets. There is an obvious lack of political will from both the parties to the conflict and the international community to make a change and improve compliance with IHL.