Children running in the streets of a refugee camp
Conflict and justice

Israel and Palestine

Peace and justice

The conflict in Israel/Palestine is one that receives a great deal of attention world-wide. Global political interests, religion and history all impact on the possibility of an end to the violence. Diakonia is cooperating with Israeli and Palestinian organizations that are working for peace and respect for international humanitarian law (IHL) and human rights.

A humanitarian disaster

The world’s focus on the ongoing conflict in Israel/Palestine means that the humanitarian crisis in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) has been largely forgotten. Neglect, corruption and insufficient respect for human rights within the Palestinian government make daily life even more difficult for the Palestinian people. In addition the Hamas led de facto government in Gaza along with other armed actors has complicated the situation even further.

Poverty increasing in Gaza

The occupation and illegal blockade of Gaza has exposed its civil population to poverty and aid dependency.

Diakonia's partners in Gaza are active in monitoring and reporting the constant violations of the rights of the civilian population by Israel, Hamas and Egypt.

Diakonia is also active in advocacy effortts to counter aid dependency by making it possible for Gaza's population to support themselves by lifting the blockade on the free movement of individuals, as well as on the import and export of goods.

Diakonia’s partner organizations working for peace

Diakonia has a long tradition of cooperation with the Christian churches in the region. Our partner organizations include Christian, Jewish and Muslim secular organizations, which work in many different ways to improve the situation for the poorest andand the disabled as well as good governance and human rights are priority areas. Another important area of focus is the work of our partner organizations for a just and viable peace.

The world's responsibility

Diakonia provides information and conducts advocacy efforts in order to influence Swedish and European politicians to secure respect for human rights and international humanitarian law on all sides. It also aims to end the Israeli blockade and settlement policy that presents an obstacle to peace and causes Palestinian aid dependency.

Diakonia's position

Diakonia is working for the right of both the Israelis' and Palestinians' to live life in security within internationally approved borders. Both parts in the conflict need to recognize the other state's right of existence and build a viable and independent state.

  • The Israeli settlements' politics and the occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip needs to come to an end.
  • Diakonia condemns acts of violence on both sides, including military violence against civilians, extra juridical executions, suicide bombers and other acts of terrorism.
  • International law and human rights must be respected by both sides.
A view of a refugee camp in Palestine, with a lot of houses and a hill.

The IHL Resource Centre website

The Diakonia International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Resource Centre was created in 2004 with a mandate to address the ongoing violations of IHL that characterise the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The goal of the Centre is to increase respect for and implementation of international law, and IHL in particular.

Image of a concrete wall with a mural that says "Path to peace".

Diakonia in the Middle East

Diakonia works, through partner organisations and other ways, to strengthen the respect for democracy and human rights. Today there are functioning democratic structures both in Palestine and Israel. But there are severe problems with how democracy is applied.