The International Solidarity Movement is a loosely affiliated Palestinian solidarity group that works with civilians travelling to the West Bank and Gaza to participate in non-violent protest against the [[Israeli occupation]].
The ISM was founded as a movement in August, 2001 by several Palestinian, Israeli and American activists in the wake of the beginning of the [[Second intifada]]. It was envisioned as a non-heirarchical affiliation and not an organization per se; any Palestinian solidarity activist who agrees to the principles may travel and operate under the rubrick of the ISM. These principles are a belief in the right of the Palestinian people to freedom and self-determination as set forth under UN and international law and a committment to use only [[non-violent tactics]] in Palestine. ISM volunteers typically coordinate with local Palestinian community organizations and peace groups while travelling, taking a supporting role rather than a leadership one.
Purpose and tactics
Individual volunteers engage in active resistance in the occupied terrorities. This occurs in several distinct ways. They are:
- documention what they see on the ground
- provision of a small degree of protection to Palestinian civilians by their presence
- blocking of Israeli army tanks and demolition equipment
- provision of escort to families under threat, ambulances,
- delivering food, water, medical aid and messages
The ISM also organizes speaking tours and engagments for volunteers upon their return home, in order to educate their communities.
- ISM activists were present during the extended Israeli army seige of Yasser Arafat’s compound in Ramallah and also during the seige of the Church of the Nativity.
- In March of 2003, [[Rachel Corrie]] was killed after being run over by an Israeli bulldozer.
- In April, 2003 Thomas Hurndall was shot in the head by an Israeli sniper while escorting Palestinian children to safety. He lapsed into a coma and died one year later.