About the FES in the Palestinian Territories

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung works in pursuit of pluralism and democracy and supporting stable and continuous economic and social development in the Middle East. Equal rights for women and the promotion of broad human rights are of special significance.

The FES offices in the Palestinian Territories and Israel aim to contribute to the attainment of immediate peace between Israel and Palestinians as well as a more comprehensive security arrangement between Israel, the Arab world, Iran and Turkey. More concretely, this means that the FES supports democratic forces and actors in their work to create peace. This takes place, for example, through the organization of political forums in which creative approaches to solving the conflict and political intervention strategies are discussed. The FES thereby supports the discourse between Europe, Germany and the regions in conflict on central questions of political transformation.

In the Palestinian Territories, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung got involved at a very early stage. Since 1987, cooperation was carefully built up through our office in Amman, Jordan, which was then new. When the Oslo peace negotiations were sealed by the historic handshake of Yizhak Rabin and Yassir Arafat in front of the White House in September 1993, it was a matter of course for the FES to open an office in East Jerusalem as the first German political foundation (Stiftung), with the expressed approval from both parties to the conflict. In April 2005 the branch office in the Gaza Strip opened.

Among the priorities in the Palestinian Territories is the development of political institutions and parties that can support a future democratic Palestinian state. The preconditions for this include an active civil society, economic development and social security as well as the development of peace strategies.

The struggle for statehood also takes place on the international stage. In this manner, the FES lends its support to political and civic decision makers in developing of a Palestinian bargaining position. Operations take place in the context of a political conflict with violent dimensions. The resulting challenges shape the daily life of the FES and its cooperation with partner organizations.

Read more on the current situation at Analysis and reports