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International Women's Peace Service

by Kate Raphael

International Women's Peace Service is a new project in Palestine. It was initiated by members of the Hares Villager Council, in response to Israeli government and settler retaliation for acts of nonviolent resistance to occupation.

A house has been built for IWPS in Hares, a village in the olive-growing region of Salfit. Four members of the IWPS team, which includes 16 women from eight different countries in Europe, North America and Africa, will be present in the house at all times. Each of us will be there for at least three months each year for the next three years. Our mission is:

  • to provide written and photographic documentation of human rights abuses in the Salfit Governate
  • to nonviolently intervene in any human rights abuses witnessed
  • to provide a protective shield for civilians as they try to live normally
  • to engage in acts of nonviolent civil resistance in order to oppose the human rights abuses and the confiscation and destruction of land and property of Palestinian civilians, which is internationally recognized as illegal
  • to support the Palestinian and Israeli peace movements as they engage in nonviolent resistance to end the occupation.

Obviously, none of this work will be possible without the support and assistance of many people living in our home countries as well as in Israel and Palestine. We will need your help to get the information we gather out to the international human rights community and the media, and to pressure our governmental representatives and the representatives of international governmental bodies, such as the United Nations and the European Union, to act to end the occupation and the increasingly dangerous conditons under which Palestinians are living.

We will be sending weekly reports on the situation in Hares and the surrounding villages and our activities there, as well as occasional emergency requests for action. We are also seeking individuals and organizations who are willing to be more actively involved with IWPS, to hear from us more frequently, to help us develop action, media and fundraising strategies, locate lawyers if we need them, bring delegations to visit the house, and women who might like to come to the house as shorter-term volunteers. Please let me know if you are willing to be part of this "A List" or would like more information about any of our work.

Complete information about IWPS can be found by visiting our website, Our regular reports will be posted there, as well as pictures from the house and the villages.

Kate Raphael is an IWPS Team Member from the USA. See RQ#87 for her first report from Palestine.