Who We Are:
MachsomWatch is a volunteer organization of Israeli women who are peace activists from all sectors of society. We oppose the Israeli occupation in the area known as the West Bank, we oppose the appropriation of Palestinian land and the denial of Palestinian human rights. We support the right of Palestinians to move freely in their land and oppose the checkpoints which severely restrict Palestinian daily life.
Since 2001 we have been observing and reporting on the Occupation. On a daily basis, we monitor the West Bank checkpoints,the separation fences, the agricultural gates, the military courts and Palestinian villages. We document what we see and what is reported to us by local Palestinians.
Through our observations, reports, films, photographs and tours we aim to influence public opinion in Israel and throughout the world by recording and authenticating the impossible conditions faced by the Palestinians under Israeli occupation; conditions which also corrode the fabric of Israeli society and the values of democracy. We attempt to ease the frustrations and hardships of Palestinians by offering formal assistance wherever we can.
How do we work?
- We conduct daily observations of Israel Defense Force checkpoints in the West Bank and the hamlets in the Jordan Valley, along the separation wall, along the seam zone, on main as well as on bypass roads, of Area C and in military courts.
- We monitor and report on the Civil Administration, the authority charged with all matters related to controlling the lives of Palestinians in the West Bank.
- We document and photograph our observations and these reports are published on our MachsomWatch website. Reports are also sent to public officials and elected representatives.
- We attend and report on the proceedings in the military courts, the courts operated for the sole purpose of trying and sentencing Palestinians accused of various offenses and arrested by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
- These hearings are open to the public, but often families of the accused are unable to attend as they are not given permits to enter Israel.
- We try to help Palestinians who are blacklisted from entering Israel for any number of perceived offenses by trying to discover the exact reasons someone has been blacklisted - the Bureaucracy of the Occupation. Often, people blacklisted are not aware of this status until they attempt to go through a checkpoint and the computer displays that the person is forbidden to pass.
Palestinians living in the villages of the Seam Zone must apply for permits from the Civil Administration in order to conduct every aspect of their daily lives.
- We are in contact with local village councils on issues concerning the Civil Administration.
- MachsomWatch volunteers meet with Palestinian women and children. These encounters are an opportunity for Palestinian women and children to meet Israelis without the military presence.
- We conduct tours in the West Bank to introduce Israelis and foreign guests to the reality of life under the Occupation.
- We conduct virtual tours in community centers and private homes for those who want to learn about the Occupation through films, lectures, and maps.
- We invite groups of young students or organizations for workshops, tours or lectures.
- We lecture and meet with foreign guests in Israel and abroad and share our experiences as activists against the Occupation and for Human Rights.
- We produce documentary films about the Occupation which are screened in Israel and around the world.
- We disseminate information to the media in order to focus attention on the realities of the Occupation.