Palestine and Israel are much in the news these days. The violence and crackdowns can remind us how hard it is to feel hopeful in the face of settlement-building and occupation.
It is important to know that there is some positive change.
We feature here four locations where donations from Anera donors have helped residents who feel isolated and vulnerable.
Located next to one of the largest and fastest growing Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Bil’in has become a symbol of resistance as demonstrators have come out weekly for the past 10 years to protest the encroachment of Israel’s separation wall. In 2015, Anera helped this town of 2,200 by building a water reservoir, restoring their water network, and adding 12 more rooms to the girls’ school.
This village is next to the Tomb of Joshua in an area surrounded by settlements. Ruboo’ Al Quds, the preschool we assist in the town with early childhood development, was selected in part because it is very close to the tomb and therefore quite vulnerable. In addition to renovating the interior of the school, Anera erected high fencing along the perimeter to keep settlers from vandalizing the school, which they have done in the past.
A settlement in Hebron’s Old City has stifled the local Palestinian economy, with checkpoints that make getting in and out of the area very difficult. There is a charitable health clinic, located in the heart of the Old City, that gives impoverished people access to quality, affordable health care. Anera regularly delivers medicines to the clinic, supplying up to 70% of their stock.
At one of the furthest points south in the West Bank, Imneizil is located right against the separation wall, next to a settlement. It is completely enveloped by the Israeli-administered Area C, where Palestinians cannot build anything. The town is very isolated, with few amenities. Anera is installing a new water network, an elevated water tank and booster pump as well as street lights, so residents feel safer walking at night.