The history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is well documented. It led to the building of the infamous separation wall which was initially a guarded barrier in the areas where conflict was at its worst. Today it surrounds Palestine, towering to a height of seven metres.
Israel claim that it is to prevent Palestinian attackers from entering Israeli cities. Palestinians claim that it separates Palestinian communities. 85% of it is built on Palestinian land, and it gives control of the Palestinian water supply to the Israelis, it also severely restricts Palestinian movement and by implication doesn’t allow them to trade or work outside their immediate communities. To date it has cost over £1 billion. Israeli settlements within the walled area continue to be built and are in turn surrounded by their own walls.
Whatever the reasons for its construction, the wall is an appalling symbol of division and control. Unsympathetic in every way, it divides families and communities. It can be crossed at one of several check points. The process however is at best time-consuming and often both impossible and degrading.
Helping overcome barriers from behind the wall
“The wall goes straight through our olive farm. When it was built, we could no longer attend our trees. The Israeli soldiers and settlers pulled up olive trees by bulldozers. They took some of the big trees and planted them in their settlements.”
W.S., Tulkarm resident
“Night after night the Israeli soldiers would come into our house and turn us out of bed. It was cold and I would have to line up on the streets with my youngest siblings (aged 3-6). My brothers had been locked up in Israeli prisons for nine years. I was the only member of the family given permission to visit them and supply them with food. It would take over 12 hours of travelling through the desert, crossing Israeli security barriers and being subjected to degrading searches to see them for just a few difficult minutes and talk through a glass screen. The only news I could give them was about the horrible Israeli attacks on our homes. I was just a child.”
M.S., Tulkarm resident
GapArt has projects in Tulkarm located in the northern part of the West Bank, about five miles from the Mediterranean. Sadly because of the wall, most of the inhabitants have only seen the sea from a distance. Tulkarm doesn’t have the biblical attractions of places such as Jericho, Nazareth or Bethlehem but it is a peaceful, bustling town with a certain charm. It is the home of Kadoorie University and several schools where volunteers would be welcome to join our art projects.
These include working with children from different backgrounds at a community centre, teaching art and drama, and even painting the separation wall itself.
There’s availability on the different projects at various times between July and April.
- Art and Drama – El Hamshari Girls School, Palestine
- Painting the Wall – Kadoorie University, The West Bank
- Summer Art Club Project – Tulkarm, The West Bank
- Palestine Volunteer Summer Project
To apply, simply complete the application form or contact us.