The ISM is active in different locations on the ground in occupied Palestine. Where the ISM has a team always depends on the needs of the community, as well as the number of volunteers. The following is an overview of the activities and expectations for the different teams.
At the moment, there is a team in al-Khalil, so new volunteers will be expected to join this team.
The team in al-Khalil is operating mainly in the H2-area under full Israeli control, where they are regularly confronted with soldier and settler violence against Palestinians, but at times also against internationals. Altercations with soldiers thus are non-evitable, and volunteers need to be ready to be confronted by both Israeli forces and colonial settlers alike. Non-violence in this aggressive environment is all the more important.
The main responsibility of the al-Khalil team is the school-runs, where internationals monitor certain checkpoints throughout the H2-area, where children, teachers and any Palestinian are forced to pass through on their way to school, work, their homes, kindergartens, shops, to reach school-busses and public transport etc. Our role is to monitor and document the events, and intervene in cases that’s necessary. This might include situation where Palestinians are arrested, attacked by soldiers or settlers, detained for hours or denied passage, the checkpoint is closed…
Additionally, the team responds to emergency-calls from the community, monitors access to freedom of religion for Palestinians, especially on Fridays and Saturdays and during Islamic holidays.
Being present in solidarity with Palestinians right next to some of the most fanatic settlers in al-Khalil, that most often act with full immunity and under full protection of the Israeli forces, al-Khalil is not an easy environment for internationals – or, needless to say for Palestinians forced to live under this continuous illegal military occupation that denies them even the most basic rights.