On Sunday 18 December, Sabeel participated in the ‘Christmas in Palestine’ event organized by Green Olive Tours. Sabeel discussed Christian Palestinian perspectives on liberation and theology and how Palestinians draw on Christian narratives and teachings as a source of resilience in the face of violent military occupation.
On Wednesday 7 December, Sabeel participated in the Third Annual Conference on Gender Justice from a National and Religious Perspective at the Carmel Hotel in Ramallah. The conference brought together specialists, community members, civil society organizations, and religious leaders to discuss women’s leadership and national laws and policies related to gender justice. It was organized as part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. Sabeel is proud to be a partner of the The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL).
From Saturday 26 November through Tuesday 6 December, a delegation from Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA) visited Palestine. The group held a 10-day witness visit in support of the Palestinian civil society organisations which have recently been raided and closed down by the Israeli authorities. The delegation aimed to address two challenges during their trip: the increasing human rights violations the Palestinian people are facing at the hands of the Israeli government, Israeli settlers, and the Palestinian Authority and the increased pressure on civil society groups which are challenging injustice and fighting for Palestine.
On Wednesday November 30th, Sabeel and several church leaders held a second coordination meeting at Al-Najah University to discuss interfaith partnership in Nablus. Christians, Muslims, and Samaritans from the local community came together to develop a roadmap of activities to address the challenges faced by the community and overcome religious extremism.
On Tuesday 29 November, Friends of Sabeel North America (FOSNA), Preach Palestine, and the Pacific School of Religion held a worship service. 29 November is the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
During the event, young adults from the village of Wadi Foquin gave a “Word of Witness.” They have become part of the PSR community through a leadership training they participated in with the Ignite Institute. The young adults gave a presentation about issues facing the people in the village.
On Saturday 19 November, Sabeel Australia held its final virtual event for the year 2022. Sabeel Australia hosted Vera Baboun, the former mayor of Bethlehem. Mayor Baboun was the first female mayor of Bethlehem and one of the first female mayors in Palestine. Mayor Baboun spoke about the current situation in Bethlehem. She is a strong advocate for gender issues, political rights, the right to self-determination, and other human rights.
On Thursday 17 November, Sabeel held a meeting with the ecumenical leaders of several churches in the Netherlands. The delegation was in Palestine and Israel for a week learning about the situation on the ground. Sabeel introduced the delegation to our work and the challenges of the local Palestinian Christian community and our perspectives on the current situation.
During the month of November, Sabeel held over eight community meetings in the West Bank about our health insurance program. We held meetings in Bethlehem, Beit Sahour, Birzeit, Ramallah, Taybeh, Jifna, Birzeit and Aboud. The members of the health insurance project introduced the new insurance policy and addressed the community’s frequently asked questions. The community spoke with the members of the project, evaluated it in person, and discussed more possibilities for the future.
Friday 16 September, the Sabeel health insurance committee presented a new insurance policy that will be introduced in communities throughout the West Bank and Gaza. Sabeel has been promoting the health insurance program so that more people can benefit from it. Since the beginning of September, 2000 people have already renewed their insurance. Sabeel hopes to reach 8000 participants by the end of this year. Since the program was launched in September 2021, we believe that we have developed more statistics about Palestinian communities in the West Bank and Gaza to be able to introduce a policy that is even more sustainable.
Currently, there are 45 organizations and schools and over 2000 individual participants that come from 36 different parishes participating in the program.
In 2021, Sabeel and the community launched a new, groundbreaking health insurance program. Previously, Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza did not have access to health insurance. Sabeel has been bringing people together to solve this problem affecting the community. Churches, non-profit organizations, laypeople, and businesses have been working together, including a Palestinian Christian-owned company that is financially supporting the health insurance plan.