The IHL programme aims at promoting knowledge and respect for IHL within our target groups, to change policies among decision makers regarding IHL and to improve accountability by stakeholders for the benefit of society and victims. Our target groups are the civil society, media and decision makers; in Israel, the oPt and within the international community in the region and in Europe.
Diakonia’s IHL programme and its partners focus on three main interlinked components:
1. We monitor breaches of IHL
Together with our partners, which monitor and document breaches of IHL in Israel and the oPt, we seek to increase and promote the overall quality and quantity of monitoring efforts.
This is carried out together with organisations already conducting extensive monitoring work. Diakonia’s current partners in monitoring are Al-Haq and B’Tselem.
Al-Haq has substantial and lengthy experience in documenting and monitoring violations of human rights and IHL and has gained a reputation for reporting honestly and accurately on human rights and IHL violations in the oPt.
Al-Haq's is often requested to give commentaries and feedback on IHL violations to the media and is perceived as an organization with good reputation in the IHL field. Its monitoring work has been included for court cases such as the UK court case on arms trade
The reports and statistics from B’Tselem are highly viewed in both local and international media as well as by NGOs and are frequently used as references in articles, petitions and reports.
In November 2004, B’Tselem’s report on punitive house demolitions contributed to
2. We inform and educate on IHL
By educating the civil society, such as NGOs, youth, students, media, lawyers, diplomats and the general public; we strive together with our partners to raise awareness about the basic rules of IHL within the Israeli and Palestinian societies, as well as within the local international community in the region.
With the purpose to maximize access to reliable information about IHL, we organize IHL forum sessions, seminars and tailored briefings about IHL and the rights and obligations of the parties to the conflict for diplomatic missions, decision makers, journalists, church-based organizations, parliamentarians and international NGO’s based in the oPt.
Education and Information to the Israeli and Palestinian societies: A network of 4 partners
The education project is carried out by Diakonia’s four partners – Association of Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), Al-Haq, Al-Mezan and B'Tselem. Through their extensive networks and channels, our partners spread information broadly and effectively.
The information project focuses on increasing access to reliable information about international humanitarian law (IHL) in general and violations of the same in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) in particular.
Within the program, our partners have developed adequate educational material on IHL easily accessible for non-lawyers, both in Hebrew and Arabic. They are also conducting training sessions towards different target groups within the two civil societies such as NGOs, journalists and media, youth and women groups.
Al-Haq has developed extensive training materials, and conducted several workshops towards human rights activists and lawyers as well as a training of trainers’ workshop.
Education and Information to the International Community
In order for decision-makers to take informed actions in compliance with IHL in light of the various humanitarian challenges that pertain in Israel and Palestine, the Diakonia IHL programme also act as a resource centre for the international community present locally, as well as in Europe to provide advice and analyses on IHL to other actors.
We arrange IHL forums, informing the international community present in the region about current IHL topic such as the issue of the destruction of civilian property, the issue of the protection of civilians in the so called ‘buffer-zone in Gaza’ or the provision of humanitarian aid in the oPt. We conduct continuous research on current IHL topics, and act as a ‘resource centre’ to provide advice and analyses on IHL to other actors in the oPt. We offer IHL briefings to visitors and provide tailored education on IHL to the international community present in the region.
This website an “Easy Guide to International Humanitarian Law in Israel and the oPt” takes also part of the information component of the programme.
3. We advocate for the respect of IHL
Our advocacy work –conducted mostly from our head office in Sweden and by our partners - aims at raising awareness to the Swedish and European general public and decision makers about the urgency of compliance with IHL in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and advocates for the improvement of the general humanitarian situation in the oPt.
This part of the work include the organization of visits for European parliamentarians and journalists to Israel and the oPt in order to raise awareness about IHL and its relevance in political and reporting processes; as well as organization of seminars on the implementation of IHL and current issues abroad.
Diakonia’s head office in
An example of such an issue is the Association Agreement which was signed between the EU and
Cooperation with other organisations
Diakonia is an active member of APRODEV, which is an association of the 17 major Christian development and humanitarian aid organisations in
Seminars and events
Diakonia is working to inform international agencies such as the Swedish parliament, UN and EU bodies about international humanitarian law with regard to its application in the occupied Palestinian territory.