Interfaith Peace-Builders Commitment to Safe and Secure Delegations
Safety of the participants on Interfaith Peace-Builders delegations
is something that we take very seriously
Our commitment to safety and security has made it possible for IFPB to organize more than 60 delegations since 2001 without a single major safety incident.
When you join an IFPB delegation, you volunteer to travel to a conflict zone. Violence is a feature of the Israeli occupation and a reality of everyday life for most Palestinians and many Israelis. But international visitors are rarely the target of violence. Both Palestinians and Israelis place high value on hospitality and bend over backwards to ensure guests are safe and secure.
IFPB delegations seek to understand the roots of violence in Palestine/Israel, but we do not seek it out. We carefully monitor the situation on the ground and maintain regular contact with Palestinian and Israeli partners about ongoing developments; our professional guides and drivers are experts in understanding the local security situation; and our leaders are experienced and equiped to deal with any situation.
We have sent more than 60 delegations to the region since 2001, including several during times of heightened tensions such as the Lebanon war in 2006, the Iraq war in 2003, and the Israeli reoccupation of the West Bank and Gaza in 2002. So we are experienced in monitoring and dealing with such situations. We have brought back all of our participants, over 1,100 individuals.
The following steps and safeguards make IFPB delegations safe for participants:
- We continually monitor events and assess the prospects for a safe delegation. We continue to be in conversation with our Israeli and Palestinian contacts to make sure it is safe to go.
- In addition to two delegation leaders, both of whom have significant experience in the region, our delegations always have a professional Palestinian guide and driver (who are fluent in Arabic and Hebrew).
- We travel on a private tour bus owned and run by a local travel agency. (We don’t use public transportation).
- We stay in local Palestinian run hotels with professional staff, security systems, and lockboxes in the rooms for valuables.
- Every delegation selects a volunteer Health Coordinator whom is equipped with an IFPB-stocked First Aid Kit and has the responsibility of helping other delegation members manage health-related needs.
- Our schedule is flexible so that we are able to take the situation on the ground into account on a daily basis. Our guide and leaders call ahead the day before and the morning of each visit so that we know the situation in each town and village before we arrive. If the visit looks dangerous, we change the schedule and substitute other meetings.
Participants on IFPB delegations (and/or family members) should feel free to talk about this important issue with IFPB staff. Our contact information is at the bottom of the page; please be in touch with your questions and concerns.