This week the British Ambassador to Israel, H.E. David Quarrey, visited the Hope Flowers School in Bethlehem, which is working together with Israeli NGO Beit Issie Shapiro (BIS) on special needs education.
The Israeli and Palestinian organisations are working together as part of a European Union-funded project promoting civil society cooperation between Palestinian and Israeli professionals in the field of disabilities, as a means of facilitating peace building.
The project “builds capacity among Palestinian professionals working with children with development disabilities” as well as contributing to mutual understanding between Israelis and Palestinians working in the field.
The Hope Flowers School, for Palestinian children, is located in Al Khader on the western edge of Bethlehem.
BIS is a global leader pioneering innovation to improve the quality of life and ensure rights for people with disabilities in Israel and internationally, across all cultural and religious divides.
BIS employs 50 Arabic speakers and works tirelessly to build bridges between Jews and Arabs who are working together to provide a better life for people with disabilities and their families.
Ambassador Quarrey, who was joined at the school by the British Consul General to Jerusalem, Philip Hall OBE, said it had been a “great visit” to see “Israeli & Palestinian civil society working together on shared challenges”.
Last year, Ambassador Quarrey praised BIS and thanked the NGO for “sharing its extraordinary work on disability, including ground-breaking technology” with Arab communities.
In 2017, Conservative MPs and peers on CFI parliamentary delegations to Israel visited BIS headquarters in Ra’anana in central Israel and the NGO’s Sindian Center based in Kalansua, which was established in 2001 as the first early intervention centre in the Arab sector in Israel.