Canada’s feminist fund for Palestinian Territories gives support to women promoting hiking in the West Bank

The Palestinian Heritage Trail is a 500 km walking route through the West Bank. The Canada Feminist Fund for the Palestinian Territories has provided funding to train Palestinian women to welcome hikers and show them womens centres in cities and villages on the Trail. Whether you are a hiker or not, and whether you visit or not, the videos produced by the Trail give a glimpse of the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Watch here…

NOTE: This post was written about two weeks ago. a future post will deal with the recent shocking declaration by the Israel Defence Department naming six well known Palestinian organizations as “terrorist”organizations.

The Palestinian Heritage Trail extends from the village of Rummana northwest of Jenin to Beit Mirsim southwest of Hebron back to Artas in Bethlehem, The trail passes through more than 60 Palestinian cities, villages, and local communities where travelers can experience and enjoy authentic Palestinian Hospitality.

More than just a hiking trail, it is a means of meeting and making connections with local Palestinians and hikers from all over the world. You can explore Bedouin communities and experience traditional Palestinian dishes, which are one of Palestine’s most fundamental traditions. It also invites hikers to experience nature, change perspectives about the middle east and create friendships along the way.

Is it dangerous?

The official Global Affairs website “discourages” Canadians from visiting the West Bank claiming that Canadians should “avoid all non essential travel” and use “a high degree of caution”. It’s hard to know whether Global Affairs officials in Ottawa really think its dangerous to travel around the West Bank or if they are following along with Israel’s attempts to boycott and isolate Palestinians generally.

CTIP has led delegations to visit Israel and the West Bank for over 10 years. Here Canadians wander through the streets of Jenin and sample foods

But the thousands of Canadians who have travelled there in the last decade know that any city in the West Bank is safer at night than Toronto, Montreal or Ottawa.

NO Canadian tourist has been killed or seriously injured in Palestine in recent memory.

Promotional video

Part of Canada’s funding went to producing a series of promotional videos for the Palestine Heritage Trail.

The Canada Feminist Fund is managed by the Canadian Representative Office in Ramallah.

The Canada Feminist Fund in the Palestinian Territories was launched last year to focus on supporting projects that seek to foster gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls through working with civil society and local partners in the Palestinian territories (West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem).

We have been preparing to host guests again in Palestine since January 2021 by training our local community on the health and safety protocols listed on the Palestinian tourism platform (”, says Michel Awad, Executive director of Siraj, one of the participating organizations.

“We got $50,000 in funding from the Canadian government for a program which includes training local women how to promote their local products and how to welcome guests in their homes. A small amount of this fund was to create videos to promote their communities. We hope to see, borders open again soon and we are ready.” 

Whether you are a hiker or not, and whether you visit or not, these 20 short YouTube videos on the different segments of the trail give a glimpse of the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Watch here…

Canada Talks Israel Palestine (CTIP) is the weekly newsletter of Peter Larson, Chair of the Ottawa Forum on Israel/Palestine (OFIP). It aims to promote a serious discussion in Canada about Canada’s response to the complicated and emotional Israel/Palestine issue with a focus on the truth, clear analysis and human rights for all. Readers with different points of view are invited to make comment.

Please feel free to share this post with your friends or with your hiking club.

More information on the trail at:

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  1. What beautiful towns, villages and nature. What beautiful and hospitable people. No wonder Israel wants to take over all these areas, it is pure greed. It is heartbreaking to witness the enormous injustices done by Israel. Another similar programs should be set for men.

  2. Thanks for this Peter. I have only watched a few of the videos but my impression is that all looks very normal and peaceful there which we know is not the case.

    1. Hey Steve,
      Thanks for your comment. There is a very large amount of violence in the West Bank. But it is mostly focused near/around the Israeli settlements which are continually expanding and where Palestionians are continually resisting. These places are known well in advance by everyone. It doesn’t seem a stretch for these hiking groups to organize a trail that avoids these hotspots.

  3. The West Bank is large enough for a 500km trail and it is certainly large enough for a viable Palestinian state, if anyone had doubts that the two state solution is still a viable solution he should walk that trail
    I enjoyed the first clip it starts just above Marg Ibn Amer, where my family had been living for almost 100 years now

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