Gisha is an Israeli not-for-profit organization, founded in 2005, whose goal is to protect the freedom of movement of Palestinians, especially Gaza residents. Gisha promotes rights guaranteed by international and Israeli law.
Since the 1967 occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Israel’s military has developed a complex system of rules and sanctions to control the movement of the 4.5 million Palestinians who live there. The restrictions violate the fundamental right of Palestinians to freedom of movement. As a result, additional basic rights are violated, including the right to life, the right to access medical care, the right to education, the right to livelihood, the right to family unity and the right to freedom of religion.
Gisha, whose name means both “access” and “approach,” uses legal assistance and public advocacy to protect the rights of Palestinian residents. Because freedom of movement is a precondition for exercising other basic rights, Gisha’s work has a multiplier effect in helping residents of the occupied territories access education, jobs, family members and medical care.
As part of its legal work, Gisha represents individuals and organizations in Israeli administrative proceedings and courts. Gisha’s legal activity is based on Israeli law, international human rights and humanitarian law.
As part of its advocacy work, Gisha reaches out to members of the public and opinion-makers using publications in various media, in order to promote awareness and sensitivity for human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories. Gisha also advocates directly before decision-makers to promote policies that respect human rights.
Gisha is operated by a professional staff and guided by a board that includes legal academics and practitioners, women and men, Arabs and Jews, who have helped shape Israeli human rights law through their advocacy and writings.
Gisha is registered in Israel as an independent, non-partisan, not-for-profit organization. Gisha is generously supported by donations from Israel and abroad.