Norwegian People's Aid supports the Palestinian people's legitimate right to self-determination, independence and freedom from oppression, occupation and forced exile.
Our starting point is Palestinians themselves and their capacity to work every day for a better future. We also contribute to international pressure to bring the occupation to an end. Norwegian People’s Aid has carried out aid work in Palestine since 1987 and has offices in Gaza City. Our long-term goal is to help create a positive political, social and economic development for oppressed groups. Norwegian People's Aid seeks to strengthen local organizations and promote democratic processes at the grassroots level, supporting local organizations’ efforts in their local communities.
Right to land and resources
Palestine is above all characterized by the Israeli occupation policy in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, which Israel has occupied since 1967. In the West Bank, more and more Palestinian land and resources are being expropriated for the benefit of Israeli settlements, with associated roads, barriers and confiscation of water resources. In Gaza, the small strip of land by the Mediterranean, the population has lived under a blockade since 2007 that largely insulates them from the outside world and is highly detrimental to the economy.
A priority for local partners is advancing the rights of different groups in the community to participate in society and be heard socially and politically, including youth, women and refugees. Palestinian women's rights and protection against violence is also a priority area. The right to land and resources is another critical area, particularly in terms of counteracting the continuing expropriation of Palestinian land and resources.
Society under pressure
Palestinian society is under severe pressure after years of war and destruction during the occupation. Norwegian People's Aid supports humanitarian relief projects as well as job creation in agriculture and fishing. Local partners’ projects are aimed at ensuring that land can still be worked and that fishermen in Gaza can sustain their activities.
The various peace negotiations which have been conducted between the PLO and Israel since the Oslo agreement has not led to the creation of a Palestinian state, but rather reinforced the Israeli occupation. The Palestinian Authority, created in 1994, has, in parts of the occupied territory, established institutions that will form the core of a future state, but have no control over borders, transport, natural resources and money. Since 2007, limited self-rule in Gaza and the West Bank has been separated as a result of political divisions among Palestinians. In addition to structural oppression from the occupying power, the Palestinian Authority has been marked by abuse of power, and a lack of freedom of association, expression and democratic processes. The rift has also weakened the Palestinians in relation to Israel and the world.