There are now a number of organisations on the ground offering tours to visitors to the West Bank and Israel. See below for information on:
The Alternative Tourism Group
Green Olive Tours
The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD)
Jerusalem Reality Tours
The Joint Advocacy Initiative
The Siraj Centre for Holy Land Studies
West Bank Tours
The Alternative Tourism Group (ATG) is a Palestinian NGO specializing in tours and pilgrimages that include critical examinations of the history, culture, and politics of the Holy Land.
Established in 1995, ATG operates according to the tenets of justice tourism, that is, tourism that holds as its central goals the creation of economic opportunities for the local community, positive cultural exchange between guest and host through one-on-one interaction, the protection of the environment, and political/historical education.
ATG works to encourage all tourism operators to abandon exploitive mass tourism and to adopt practices that positively affect the host population. Through these methods, ATG seeks to promote a positive image of Palestine and its people and to contribute to establishment of a just peace in the area.
Green Olive Tours is a social enterprise tour agency providing tours that are informative and analytical, covering the history, culture, and political geography of Palestine (West Bank) and Israel. The tours provide benefit to the indigenous population through the hiring and training of tour guides, overnight stays with families & small guest houses, and encouraging visitors to purchase local crafts.
The wide range of itineraries include interaction with Palestinians and Israelis, and visit areas that embody the history and current status of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem, and between Israel’s Jewish, Palestinian-Arab, and Bedouin citizens. The complex mosaic of religions, nationalities, and political viewpoints in the Holy Land are explored in depth. Many of the tours visit sites of historical, cultural and religious interest, placing them within the context of the ongoing analysis provided by the guide.
ICAHD is a non-violent, direct-action organization established in 1997 to resist Israeli demolition of Palestinian houses in the Occupied Territories. As it gained knowledge of the brutalities of the Occupation, it expanded its resistance activities to other areas – land expropriation, settlement expansion, by-pass road construction, policies of “closure” and “separation,” the wholesale uprooting of fruit and olive trees, the Separation Barrier/Wall, the siege of Gaza and more. ICAHD organises highly recommended day tours of the Jerusalem area, and twice yearly in-depth ten day study tours, in partnership with ICAHD UK and Experience Travel Tours (ETT) of Britain.
Organised by Israeli human rights activist Rotem Mor, Reality Tours introduce particpants to some of the key social realities of Jerusalem’s rich and diverse communities while allowing them to experience first-hand its beautiful places, stories, cultures and people.
A joint program of East Jerusalem YMCA and YWCA of Palestine, the Joint Advocacy Initiative works for peace with justice in Palestine. This is based on humanitarian and Christian values, and works by mobilising the world movements of YMCA and YWCA, churches, church-based organizations, UN agencies, and other relevant organisations to influence decision-makers and prompt actions that contribute to end Israeli occupation and all its violations of International Law.
The JAI organises a youth exchange programme (Go and See Why), an annual Journey for Justice Programme, olive harvest and olive planting visits and receives delegations from around the world.
Siraj is a non-governmental non profit organization based in Beit Sahour, Palestine. It aims to create links between Palestinian people and people from around the globe through educational tourism, interfaith and ecumenical dialogue, culture and youth exchange programs.
Siraj organises fact finding missions to Palestine in order for people all over the world to have first hand experience of the on going Israeli occupation by meeting with Palestinians and Israelis and meet face to face with the real issues of illegal settlements, the Israeli Wall, water issues, borders and refugees.
The Siraj Center also aims to reveal the human face of the people of Palestine that is not shown normally at Western mainstream media, by organising family accommodation and interaction with local Palestinians families. The Center recognises the historic roots of the Palestinian people through showing the cultural identity for the people of Palestine and reflecting it through all the organized visits for tourists in Palestine.
The Siraj Center is a leading organization in Palestine through organising hiking and biking experiences. Siraj Center organizes the Nativity Trail hike from Nazareth to Bethlehem and is a co founder and partner in the Abraham Path Initiative. Siraj Center hosts the Peace Cycle from London to Jerusalem every year too.
Siraj Center organizes trips upon requests from groups and individuals like Christian tour leaders, churches, Peace activists, and special interest groups. Siraj Center recruits individuals to participate in its annual programs like the Palestinians Summer Celebration from Mid June- Mid August, the Annual Olive Harvest in early October,Inter-religious and inter-cultural explorations and the Christmas Peace Pilgrimage.
“Our mission is to allow travelers to discover the real Palestine—
the Palestine behind the sensational news headlines. Palestine
is a place of breathtaking landscapes, a vibrant and rich culture
and history, hospitable people and beautiful cities. West Bank
Tours and Fixers wants to show you the real, human side to the
conflict as well as the stunning sights, giving you a unique and
unforgettable experience. You will discover the culture as well as
the on-the-ground realities of life here, all the while being in
close contact with Palestinians throughout your trip. We have
over five years experience working with foreign visitors. Our
broad understanding of the situation here and our
comprehensive knowledge make us the ideal guides to plan your
trip and lead you through a journey of cultural, historical and