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Palestine: Reintegration of youths


2017 is an extraordinary year in the long history of the Middle East conflict. In 1917, the Balfour-Declaration promises the establishment of a national homestead to the Jewish people inside the British mandatory area called Palestine. In 1947m the UN plenary assembly decides to split the land into a Jewish and an Arabic state. In 1967 during the Six-Day War, Israel conquers Gaza, Jerusalem and the Westbank and keeps the latter two occupied ever since. In 1987, the first Intifada starts, the Palestinian peaceful as well as violent resistance against the Israelian occupation. In 2007, Egypt and Israel block the Gaza Strip, since Hamas seized power using violence.This since 50 years ongoing occupation of the Westbank and Jerusalem and the 10-year old blockade of the Gaza Strip have various negative impacts on the people living there as for example restricted mobility, physical injuries, psychological traumata and economical misery.


The Middle East confligt resulted in thousands of injured people over the past years, who now have to learn to live with their permanent handicaps. Thereby it is mostly about paraplegia, limp, perception and visual disorder after shooting injuries as well as post-traumatic disorders (sleeping disorder, depression, paranoia, cancellation of social contacts or apathy).


For young people aged under 30, who represent 70% of the population, it is difficult to find a job after they have complited their education. Unemployment in this age is about 40% for young men and 63% for young women. For disabled people the situation is even more difficult. About 70% of them did not have had any kind or only very basic eduaction and 87% of all handicapped people over 18 years old are unemployed.



The programme pursues the aim to support children, young people and young adults with disabilities and traumas in the social and professional reintegration. Furthermore, the psychic health in the Palestinian society is improved sustainably through therapeutic offers and preventive measures.



  • Disabled and traumatised children, young people and young adults are able to cope better with their disability/trauma.
  • The beneficiaries are physically and economically independent
  • The families/relatives as well as the society know the needs and rights of disabled/traumatised people and support them.
  • Palestinian therapists expand their knowledge, abilities and technologies of treatment.



Yearly, 800 children, young people and young adults with disabilities and traumas in the West Bank benefit as direct beneficiaries from the supporting services of the East Jerusalem YMCA.


Program Info Programme sum 2018
Palestine: Reintegration of youths CHF 192'000.-


Success Story: Reintegration of Bilal Mahmmud Al-Ghafi-Yatta

In january 2011, Laurent Burst, independent photographer for Horyzon, visited young Palestinians being involved with the YMCA. One of them is Bilal. Aged 19, israeli soldiers shot him in the head while he was trying to save children from the fire zone. His exceptionel story shows the importance of the development project in Palestine.

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Links to the topic Palestine/Israel

  • SDC in the Westbank/Gaza (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation)
  • OCHA (Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs)
  • UNDP (UN Development Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People)
  • UNICEF (UNICEF in Occupied Palestinian Territory)
  • UNRWA (UN agency for Palestine refugees)
  • B'Tselem (Israeli information center for human rights in the occupied territories)
  • The Electronic Intifada (Palestinian view on the conflict)

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