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The Occupied Palestinian Territories are made up of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.Located in the Middle East, Jewish immigration into the territories began in earnest after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1922 and ownership of the territories has been disputed in the region ever since.

In 1948, war broke out when Israel was declared an independent state and the former British mandate of Palestine was divided between Israel, Jordan and Egypt. In 1967, the area was forcefully occupied by Israel and there has been an almost continuous period of dispute and fighting between Arabs and Jews over the territories ever since.

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Current negotiations hope for the creation of a new, independent state known as Palestine in the future, but little progress has yet been made in that direction. Constantly in the news with stories of suicide bombs and mortar attacks, it might not be the first place a TEFL teacher will think of going.

However, as well as offering an amazing opportunity to help children and adults in an incredibly vulnerable situation, Palestine also has much more to offer than can be believed if you were to simply watch the news headlines. Stunning beaches, hills that are constantly soaked in sunshine, the most wonderful and ornate mosques and plenty of fabulous ancient sites combine to create enough to keep any visitor happy and busy for whatever length of time they are there. When staying in the West Bank, is it possible to resist the allure of Bethlehem, birthplace of Jesus Christ? Be surprised when you arrive to find it is no longer a small stone village with a couple of inns. Instead you will find a town humming with activity, markets and of course home to numerous ancient and infamous holy sites.

Walking to your TEFL job in Palestine can take you along cobbled lanes, past mosques, churches and also street vendors selling all kinds of wonderful food. There is little that beats the taste of falafel from one of these vendors, or the most wonderful hummus that can be picked up in the bustling local markets.

Education is considered highly important in Palestine and there has been a growing demand for TEFL teachers and especially those able to teach IT as well. If you are looking for a TEFL job in Palestine, the chances are you will be going as a volunteer, and finding an organisation with a good reputation before you leave is a must. When you arrive you will usually be placed with a host family and, as well as making you feel comfortable in what can often be an uncomfortable situation in the world outside, this can also be a great way to see how the people of Palestine live.

Depending on the organisation you go with and whether you are teaching just English or other skills as well, it is likely that a lot of your teaching will be with children in refugee camps, so as well as a strong desire to do something positive in the area, being able to connect with young people is also a must-have skill.

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