Fighting the Occupation - New Israel Fund Australia

Fighting the Occupation

Projects we support:

Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI)’s East Jerusalem and Occupied Palestinian Territories Project

We’re funding a major Association for Civil Rights in Israel project which fights for classrooms, health clinics and core government services in a city where the majority of residents live below the poverty line.

In East Jerusalem the vast majority of children live below the poverty line and struggle to get access to state-funded education.

The imbalance in resources between Jewish West Jerusalem and Palestinian East Jerusalem is staggering. After a decade of litigation, tens of thousands of Palestinian students still don’t have access to the classrooms they need to attend school. More than 2,000 classrooms need to be built, but only 44 were added last year. Half of existing classrooms are considered substandard by the municipality.

NIF Australia funds ACRI’s litigation and courtroom advocacy, working to have High Court of Justice decisions respected and implemented and ensuring all of Jerusalem’s residents get the education they deserve.

ACRI also does extensive work assisting Palestinians living in the West Bank.


  • 2023 – $15,000
  • 2021 – $29,500
  • 2020 – $47,000
  • 2019 – $26,000
  • 2018 – $23,000
  • 2017 – $105,000

Physicians for Human Rights

Each week, hundreds of Palestinians in remote West Bank villages receive medical treatment from some of Israel’s best trained medical specialists. Volunteering their time, they provide urgent and ongoing medical care, medication and support to Palestinian towns which otherwise may only have access to a GP every few weeks.

Between the mobile clinic and their open clinic in Yafo, which caters to refugees and people seeking asylum, more than 16,000 people are given medical treatment and referrals they couldn’t otherwise receive.

The organisation also works with 250 Palestinians in Gaza each year to get them visas to access medical care in Israel or the West Bank. Gaza’s medical facilities are extremely limited, particularly for cancer treatment.

Physicians for Human Rights is also the only Israeli organisation able to provide humanitarian medical access to residents of Gaza.


  • 2023 – $35,714
  • 2022 – $32,500
  • 2021 – $15,000
  • 2020 – $38,333
  • 2019 – $25,000
  • 2018 – $25,000

Yesh Din

By representing Palestinians who are victims of settler violence and who have had land confiscated by settlements, Yesh Din’s actions challenge the structural violations of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Last year, Yesh Din had major success representing Palestinian landowners against the settlement outpost of Amona. After almost 10 years of work, including a number of hearings before the High Court of Justice, Amona, which was illegal under Israeli law and constructed on private Palestinian land, was evacuated, and the land returned to its owners.

The organisation also runs legal training workshops in the West Bank to empower Palestinians and ensure they have the ability to exercise their legal rights.


  • 2023 – $25,000
  • 2022 – $20,200
  • 2021 – $18,450
  • 2020 – $20,000
  • 2019 – $12,000
  • 2018 – $15,000

Machsom Watch

Founded by a group of Jewish-Israeli grandmothers, distressed by the treatment of Palestinians, Machsom Watch runs a ‘checkpoint hotline’ to assist the 80,000 Palestinians who cross into Israel each day. Even though they have work permits, thousands are unfairly denied entry each year, often for trivial reasons, like a speeding fine or because some of their relatives were arrested.

Machsom Watch’s staff and volunteers help around 3,000 Palestinians each year, liaising with the military to have them removed from the blacklist. Ultimately, more than half are successful in their claims, meaning they can return to work.


  • 2020 – $10,000
  • 2019 – $16,000
  • 2018 – $16,000


The only Israeli organisation which focuses on human rights in Gaza, Gisha works with Palestinians wishing to travel to Israel or the West Bank for medical, educational or professional reasons. The organisation focuses particularly on assisting Gazans from marginalised groups, like women and young people. With Gisha, more than 700 people were able to receive Israeli army permits to leave Gaza, including 257 women and 344 children.

Gaza still struggles with access to basic goods, like food and health equipment, and Gisha works with the IDF to maximise their flow in to Gaza.


  • 2023 – $25,000
  • 2021 – $15,000
  • 2020 – $27,000
  • 2019 – $15,000
  • 2018 – $15,000


Providing free legal aid to Palestinians in the occupied territories to access their rights in a wide range of areas, including freedom of movement, residency and social rights, the right to family life and property, and protections for minors in detention, HaMoked is one of Israel's most effective organisations fighting the occupation.


  • 2022 – $5,000
  • 2021 – $1,000
  • 2020 – $1,000
  • 2019 – $150

Haqel: Jews And Arabs In Defense Of Human Rights

Haqel provides legal counsel to over 5,000 beneficiaries and tens of villages in the South Hebron Hills. The organisation’s strategic litigation work involves 3 levels of action: Tackling violations at the grassroots level, in close cooperation with residents, by submitting real-time reports to the DCO, police and army, including photographic and video footage; submission of urgent letters and appeals to the Attorney General, the head of the CA and coordinating bodies responsible for civil and security operations in the oPt; coordination with international and local activists, CSOs, the press and diplomats. In addition to Haqel’s extremely demanding regular litigation case load, the emergency service available to all Palestinian communities and residents in the South Hebron Hills to deal with urgent emergency cases, requires additional resources.


  • 2021 – $12,948

Human Rights Defenders Fund (HRDF)

The Human Rights Defenders Fund (HRDF) was founded in 2011 amidst increasing violations of the rights of Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) and restrictions on the work of HR organizations in Israel and the OPT. Concerned for the safety and well-being of HRDs who are faced with attempts to silence and intimidate them, or interfere with their actions through legislation, military and police brutality, and legal prosecution, the Fund provides HRDs with the support they need to fend off attacks on their bodies, persons and work.

The Fund’s main activity area is the provision of legal aid and defense to HRDs who face different forms of legal persecution (such as false arrests and indictments or other types of legal harassment), ensuring that HRDs can continue carrying out their activism knowing that they have support. Thus the Fund seeks to mitigate the “chilling effect” of harassment by state authorities and extra-parliamentary groups.


  • 2023 – $45,000

Mothers Against Violence

Mothers Against Violence was established during the Balfour protest in 2020. Hundreds of women, most of them with children the ages of the young demonstrators, began protesting police brutality.

Mothers Against Violence has coalesced as an extremely active group within the campaign against the occupation. It has a presence throughout the country, based on local groups. Its members work closely with veteran human rights organisations.

NIF Australia is proud to be supporting their Mothers for Mothers program — a grassroots organisation of Israeli mothers and Palestinian mothers in Masafer Yatta who are threatened with expulsion.


  • 2023 – $14,500