Established in 1989 by a group of researchers and health practitioners in Ramallah, the Health, Development, Information and Policy Institute (HDIPI) defines itself as “an independent non-profit Palestinian organization [that specializes] in policy research and planning regarding the Palestinian health care system in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.” It focuses on enhancing “coordination and cooperation between the different health care providers in Palestine, particularly … between Palestinian NGOs and the Palestinian Authority.”
HDIPI serves as a “resource for policy makers, development agencies, health care organizations, individual researchers and students who require quality, up-to-date information, research and ideas about health care and other development issues in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.” It also “coordinate[s] with a large network of health care NGOs working on development activities in all of the urban and rural areas of the country, providing it with first-hand knowledge of the health and infrastructure conditions on the ground in Palestine.”
HDIPI’s current projects include the following:
(a) Women’s Empowerment: “… to increase household income, reduce malnutrition in children and improve living conditions in rural and isolated Palestinian communities, cut off from their sources of employment and social services, through the empowerment of women as wage-earners and the creation of jobs.”
(b) Adoption: “… to provide direct help and assistance to children who belong to needy [Palestinian] families and live under poverty line.” As of December 2006, HDIPI had found adoptive parents for 36 children from the Jenin and Ramallah areas. Most were either orphans or belonged to unemployed families with little income.
(c) Laws: HDIPI’s legislative unit “plays a major role in advocating and lobbying for effective legislation, and provides this type of support to other organizations interested in formulating laws that promote society’s varied interests.”
(d) Voter Registration: This program recruits teenagers and young adults to motivate residents of the West Bank and Gaza to register for, and then vote in, political elections.
HDIPI views Israel as an oppressor nation that is the principal cause of Palestinian suffering. On May 17, 2006, the organization published an article stating the following: “The Palestinians are facing one of the most vicious assaults in their history against their right to self-determination, their economic livelihood and their very future as an independent people. Israel … is inexorably tightening its military, political and economic blockade against the Palestinian people … thereby destroying the prospect of peace on the basis of a two-state solution. Even if Mother Theresa were brought back to life and made president of the Palestinian people, Israel would still refuse to recognize a Palestinian negotiating partner. … [W]e must defend the fate of our children and ourselves …”
HDIPI periodically produces “fact sheets” on Israel’s alleged transgressions in various realms, including the following:
(a) Children: “All violations perpetrated by Israel against the Palestinians over the last decades — ranging from torture and illegal killings to expulsion, the prevention of access to medical treatment, discrimination, and the destruction of homes and livelihoods — have had a disproportionate effect on the children of Palestine. … Palestinian children arrested, detained or imprisoned by Israeli authorities routinely face violations of their rights. … Palestinian children experience constant discrimination as a result of living under Israeli military occupation.”
(b) Apartheid Wall: “Israel maintains that the Wall is a temporary structure to physically separate the West Bank from Israel and thus to prevent suicide attacks on Israeli citizens. However the [W]all’s location … and projected length … suggest it is more realistically an additional effort to confiscate Palestinian land, facilitate further colony expansion and unilaterally redraw geopolitical borders, all the while encouraging an exodus of Palestinians by denying them the ability to earn a living from their land, reach their schools or work places, access adequate water resources, or reach essential health care. … If Israel is truly interested in its security it will … withdraw completely from all of the territories it occupied in 1967 … Israel has long had the formula for peace and security — end the occupation.”
(c) Water: “… 75% of the Occupied West Bank & Gaza Strip renewable water resources are used by Israel. … Many villages in the Jenin Governate are suffering from serious water shortage due to the Israeli siege.”