Afghanistan, India, Israel, Pakistan, Palestine, United States of America
Causes Children/Youth, Human Rights
Seeds of Peace inspires and cultivates new generations of global leaders in communities divided by conflict. We equip them with the skills and relationships they need to accelerate social, economic, and political changes essential for peace.
Israel, Palestine, United States of America
Causes Human Rights
CMEP works to encourage U.S. policies that actively promote a just, lasting, and comprehensive resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, ensuring security, human rights and religious freedom for all the people of the region.
Natural water sources in Palestine, such as the Jordan River and Dead Sea, are continuing to lower and become more polluted due to population increases and manufacturing.1 Due to little funding and landfills, most trash ends up being improperly disposed of, and this contributes to significant air pollution and toxins in Palestine.2
Palestinian families have a strong sense of tradition and identification with honor and hospitality being two distinct traits.1 Palestinian culture is traditionally patriarchal and over 50% of Gazan and 29% of West Bank women have reported being abused in their household.2 Muslim families are growing at a much faster rate than other groups with an average of four children per family whereas the Christian average is two, and it is not uncommon to find extended families living in the same house.3
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) commit discriminatory actions towards Palestinians such as forced home demolitions and the support of the construction of unlawful Israeli settlements in Palestine.1 Furthermore, the IDF restricts Palestinians’ right to movement by establishing various border and internal checkpoints and continuing the construction of a separation barrier.2 These restrictions on Palestinians enforced by the IDF often cause backlash to which the IDF responds with excessive force and collective punishment.2 In Gaza, Hamas tortures prisoners and unfairly treats certain people groups, and in the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority is accused of severe treatment of those who disagree with them.1
Palestine has one of the highest literacy rates in the world at 96%.1 Even with this high rate, however, there are significant barriers to education including schools destroyed in war in Gaza, military checkpoints, and lack of public school funding free from outside assistance.1 Higher education is prioritized in Palestinian culture, and enrollment has increased significantly in the last decade, particularly for women who now make up more than half of all students.2 There are 53 accredited post-secondary institutions, but some report that it is difficult to gain acceptance to Israeli institutions or receive recognition of their degrees within Israel.1
26% of Palestinians live in poverty with the rate in Gaza nearly double that of the West Bank.1 The Israeli occupation impedes upon economic development and restricts trade which leads to high unemployment, difficulty traveling, and food insecurity.2
Palestine is approximately 84% Muslim with a predominant Sunni presence, 13% Jewish who almost all live in Israeli settlements, and 2% Christian.1 Over 420,000 of Israeli citizens now live in Jewish settlements in Palestinian land, many of whom claim the land is theirs based on Jewish tradition.2 Christians have rapidly been fleeing the country in recent years in search of less persecution and more opportunities. Christians are now concentrated only in major cities like Bethlehem.3 Palestine is home to many holy sites to Jews, Christians, and Muslims including the Church of the Nativity, Rachel’s Tomb, Tomb of the Patriarchs, and the Temple Mount. There is constant tension with neighboring Israel over control of these sites based on international borders and peace treaties.
In Palestine, most freshwater resources are controlled by Israel under the Oslo Accords, and the amount of water allocated to Gaza and the West Bank has not sufficiently changed in over 20 years even though the population has doubled.1 This causes unreliable water access to Palestinians with water being turned off for weeks at time at random.2 Over 80% of Gazans and 35,000 people in areas of the West Bank do not have reliable access to water.3 In addition, in Gaza, sewage contaminates over 90% of the water in the ground, aquifers, and coastline meaning that most Gazans depend on international aid and bottled water.4
Palestine’s biggest industries are tourism, small-scale manufacturing, and olive oil products.1 The economy struggles to grow beyond these industries because of Israeli trade restrictions, the threat of violence, and political instability.1 These factors also cause unemployment to remain high with Gaza’s unemployment rate at 42% and the West Bank’s at 18%.2
The Palestinian government, the Palestinian Authority (PA), was established with Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1994 under the Oslo Peace Accords, and the system is a parliamentary democracy with elections to be held every four years.1 The two major political factions, Fatah and Hamas, have struggled to form a unity government since the 2006 parliamentary elections when Hamas won a majority that was quickly renounced internationally and led to Fatah and PA President Mahmoud Abbas fighting to regain legislative control of Palestine.2 The Fatah party has also been accused of corruption, money laundering, a lack of transparency and over 80% of Palestinians believe that both Hamas and Fatah are corrupt.3
There are many significant barriers to adequate healthcare in Palestine. Blocked roads, military checkpoints, and the need to obtain a special medical permit all make many hospitals difficult to travel to. Gazans in particular have experienced a severe shortage of medical supplies and economic means to afford necessary health care after the 2014 war with Israel which led to isolation and a freeze on most imports.1 Palestinians have a life expectancy of 71 years.2
Children in Palestine live in the frequent threat of hostility due to the 50 year Israeli occupation. In response to occupation, youth often throw stones at IDF soldiers or Israeli settlers, and this leads to aggressive retaliation.1 In 2016, over 30 children were killed by the IDF.2 In addition, children can be subject to military checkpoints on their way to school hindering their access to education and after school enrichment programs.3
Over hunting has contributed to the decline of many of the traditional species living in Palestine like hippopotamuses, lions, and gazelles.1 Palestine is a junction for more than 50 million birds due to the intersection of three continents’ migration routes.2
A group of Palestinian activists in the UK could be imprisoned after a protest outside a factory owned by a subsidiary of Israeli drone manufacturer, Elbit Systems. Five protesters were arrested in July after the demonstration in the West Midlands town ... See more..
RAMALLAH, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- A report issued by the Palestine Monetary Authority on Sunday forecasts drop in economic growth rate by 0.7 percent in Palestine as compared with last year. The report mentioned that the growth rate could possibly slow ... See more..
Israeli border police shot and killed a Palestinian teenager who they allege wielded a knife at them at a checkpoint in the occupied West Bank. The Palestinian Health Ministry confirmed the 17-year-old had been killed on Saturday, but did not elaborate ... See more..
She insists she was tortured by Israeli military into confessing. Odeh was released in 1979 as part of a swap with the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. In Chicago, Odeh works as associate director of the Arab American Action ... See more..
A Swedish activist pledged to walk 4,800-kilometers from Sweden's Gothenburg to Palestine to raise awareness for the Palestinian cause, as well as to mark the centennial of the Balfour Declaration, which in 1917 pledged a Jewish homeland in then ... See more..
The financial audit was for 2016 and the results were released this week. According to the audit, the East Palestine general fund balance increased by $69,615 over 2015, for a total general fund balance of just over $2.6 million. The village also saw ... See more..
John Dabeet, left, reminisces with his old friend Nabeel Shaath, foreign affairs and international relations adviser to the president of Palestine in a recent visit to the country. Dabeet visited Palestine last month to begin forging sister city ... See more..
EUSTACE â It took the Palestine volleyball team one day to quadruple its wins for the season. Palestine went 3-0 to open play in the Eustace Tournament on Thursday, not dropping a set in the process. The Ladycats defeated Blooming Grove (25-17, 25-14), ... See more..
Hamas official Ashraf Abu Zayed said the training came within the framework of âpreparing for the liberation of Palestine.â Young Palestinians jump though a ring of fire during a military graduation ceremony at a Hamas summer camp in Khan Yunis, in the ... See more..