In the International Day of Solidarity with Palestine as IVS movement, we choose to take a common stand with the Palestinian people.
In September 2022 Representatives of different International Voluntary Service (IVS) organizations and networks, participated in a 10 days study visit to Palestine, organized by the Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service (CCIVS), hosted by BALADNA inside the green line and IPYL in the West Bank.
The visit was an eye-opener, both enlightening and shocking.
The participant had the chance to observe how Palestinians are living under an unprecedented and inconceivable beyond imagination apartheid regime, as recognized by international organisations such as Amnesty International, that strangles all aspects of their lives in terms of mobility, economy, social and cultural life, education, child detention, the arbitrary killing of civilians, confiscation of land and property, appropriation of natural resources.
The State of Israel is also attacking the Palestinian civil society movement, with a focus on Human Rights organizations that are exposing its inhumane treatment of the Palestinians and their quest to bring Israel to the ICC (International Criminals Court). Six Palestinian CSOs, active as human rights defenders, have been designated by Israel as terrorist organizations, as a way to mute their voices. The UN, EU, and many international bodies rejected this decision, as Israel has no evidence to support its claims. However, still, the army has sabotaged and closed their offices.
We stand in solidarity with these organisations and Palestinian and Israeli activists that are working for peace, justice, and mutual understanding, to stop this Apartheid regime.
In addition, some of the participants of the study visit experienced unacceptable and humiliating treatment received at the Israeli airport on their arrival and on their way back.
We believe that IVS can be a very powerful solidarity tool, to provide support and empowerment to Palestinian youth activists and to raise awareness about their living conditions all around the world. For that, as a network, we commit to support and promote study visits, workcamps, and meetings in Palestine and support projects in other parts of the world in solidarity with Palestinian people, hoping that more and more organizations and institutions will do the same.