From $1,690 per personHosted by Green Olive Tours Director Fred Schlomka and Palestinian families, this tour is the same as our 7-day tour, with the addition of 3 days of volunteer work in the village of Beit Ummar. Your experience will include day tours, interpersonal contact, and discussion of the issues. which will enable you to enjoy the country and the people, while deepening your understanding of the critical issues in the Holy Land today.
includes accommodations, daily tours, most meals
Begins every Monday
includes accommodations, daily tours, most meals
Begins every Monday
- Visit 5 cities
- Be embedded in a village
- 3 days of volunteering
- Tour the Southern West Bank
- Learn about life under Occupation
- Palestinian culture
- Meet local people
You'll see five Palestinian cities, meet dozens of Palestinians, be immersed in the life of a village under Occupation, and be provided with a huge amount of information about Palestinian history, culture and the Occupation.
You'll stay with families in Beit Sahour (Bethlehem) and Beit Ummar village, forming relationships with your hosts and learning about their daily lives.
Day 1 - Monday - Greater Jerusalem and The Old City
10.00am. You will meet the group at the Gate Cafe, Damascus Gate, at the entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem. Your trip will start with a briefing with maps and an alternative tour of Jerusalem's Old city, taking in the Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Selpuchre in addition to seeing the Israeli settler homes that have been sprouting in the Muslim Quarter.
You'll learn about the implications of Israeli encroachment into Muslim areas of the Old City and surrounding neighbourhoods.
After lunch you will go on the road for a tour of some of the suburban Jerusalem settlements, Palestinian neighborhoods, the Separation Barrier, and segregated roads. These will include Pizgat Ze'ev, Har Homa, Beit Hanina, and Anata.
Then off to Beit Sahour to meet your host family after a busy and intense first day.
Day 2 - Tuesday - Bethlehem
Today you'll be with a Palestinian guide for an overview of Bethlehem. You'll see the settlement of Har Homa that you saw from the Jerusalem side of the Barrier yesterday. Today the view will be from the Palestinian side.
You'll visit the Aida Refugee Camp, the Palestine Heritage Center, visit a Palestinian NGO, and see the Separation Barrier up close. You'll also visit Solomon's Pools, and the Church of the Nativity.
In the evening you'll visit the Alternative Information Center (AIC) for their weekly discussion session about aspects of Palestinian life and the Occupation. There is a featured speaker from an Israeli or Palestinian organization then lots of round table discussion. The AIC promotes the rights of the Palestinian people, and is the only peace and justice organization that has a mixed staff and board of Palestinians and Israelis.
Day 3 - Wednesday - Nablus
Fred will pick you up early in the morning. You'll travel up the spine of the West Bank on route 60 seeing many small radical settlements and Palestinian villages. You will visit to the Samaritan village on Mount Grizim, and learn about tis ancient people who have survived despite the odds against them. After descending the mountain, you'll transfer from Fred to a Palestinian guide for the tour through Nablus.
The next stop will be the Balata Refugee Camp where you'll see the crowded conditions and hear some stories about life there. You'll also visit one of the camp organizations that helps make life a little better for the residents.
The tour will include the Old City with its beautiful labyrinth of buildings dating back to the Ottoman period. You'll visit the ancient Turkish baths and an olive oil soap factory. You will also visit sites of historical and religious interest such as Jacob’s Well; a deep well dug by Jacob and where Jesus once asked a Samaritan woman for a drink.
Day 4 - Thursday - Hebron and Ramallah
From Bethlehem you'll drive around the east of Jerusalem through the Judean Desert to Ramallah. You'll see many Jewish settlements en-route and enter the city through a checkpoint into the neighborhood of Kufr Akab.
The Separation WALL divides the neighborhood from Jerusalem although it is part of the municipality and the residents pay city taxes. You’ll visit Arafat's Tomb and walk the streets of this bustling city, now the de-facto Capital for Palestinians in the West Bank
After lunch you'll drive to Hebron and visit Abraham's Tomb and the Old City where Israeli settlers live in close proximity to the local Palestinians. You'll visit a local family and a glass blowing workshop that recycles glass from the city, crafting beautiful objects.
Day 5 - Friday - Beit Ummar Village
You'll travel from Bethlehem south to the village. On arrival at Beit Ummar you'll meet your hosts Mousa & Bekka, and settle in to your room. You'll stay in dormitory accommodations in their family home with comfortable lounge areas, a balcony and outdoor space.
There is wireless internet throughout - so you can sit under an olive tree while getting your email, or use the computer in the lounge.
You'll spend the day walking the village with Mousa, meeting local families to learn about their life and issues with land confiscation and settlers.
Beit Ummar is a Palestinian Muslim village between Bethlehem and Hebron in the middle of Israel's Gush Etzion settlement bloc.
In addition to the formal program of activities, you are encouraged to wander the village, meet people, and soak up the atmosphere. There are also adjacent country areas where you can stroll through the olive groves.
Day 6 - Saturday - Beit Ummar
In the morning you'll visit farmers in their fields and homes around the village and see firsthand the situation with the settlements which have been built on confiscated land. You'll also be learning about the Palestine Solidarity Project. The villagers have developed a strategy of non-violent resistance to the Occupation and organize a variety of activities.
These include accompanying farmers to their land when there is a danger of settler violence, replanting destroyed trees, and resisting home demolitions. They also have established a women's embroidery cooperative. You will have an opportunity to learn about these activities, and meet activists in the village to learn firsthand about their work.
Day 7 - Sunday - South Hebron Hills
You'll take a field trip with Mousa to the South Hebron Hills and visit villagers in areas under threat by settlers who have lost much of their land and are constantly harassed when they attempt to cultivate their land close to a settlement.
En-route you'll pass the Kiriyat Arba settlement, a city being built at the edge of Hebron. Some of the South Hebron residents live shacks, tents and caves. You'll have an opportunity to meet them and learn about their lives.
Day 8, 9, 10 - (Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday)
During your final 3 days you'll work in the village, teaching English, working in the fields, or participating in a youth or womens project. On the registration form you can detail your skills and preferences.
The volunteer work not only helps the villagers in a materiel way, but also helps keep hope alive by for local people in the knowledge that you care enough to come to learn and help out.
Day 11 - Thursday
You'll depart for Jerusalem after breakfast, either with public transportation or by private car if you prefer.
Please remember that you'll be visiting conservative communities. Both men and women should be fully covered at all times. This includes a high neckline on a shirt and dress, shoulders and upper arms covered, and dresses or skirts below the knees. Trousers (pants) are common for both men and women. No shorts. Respecting the local mores will enable you to blend in and communicate comfortably with local people.
Any questions? Contact us for more information.
Itinerary subject to change