I grew up Jewish in the Naqab (Hebraized as Negev). As a child I enjoyed picnics in the Yattir forest, located in the northern Naqab. I asked how it could be that the man-made forest of Yattir is thriving, yet there were no natural forests in the surrounding area. I was told that it was because of the black goats of the Bedouin. They ate all the vegetation, making the land a desert.
The Palestinian village of Imwas, together with the villages of Yalu and Beit Nuba, were razed to the ground in the 1967 war. In the mid-1970s, the Jewish National Fund (JNF) used donations from its Canadian branch to establish Canada Park on the lands of the three villages. We spoke with Ahmad Abughoush, president of Lajnet Ahali Imwas (Imwas Society) about the plight of the village, the villagers, and their attempts to return home.
1. Scope of Palestinian Displacement 2008
The Palestinian refugee and IDP population described here comprises the total estimated number of Palestinians and their descendants whose “country of origin” is the former Palestine (now divided into Israel and the OPT), who have been displaced within or outside the borders of this area, and who do not have access to voluntary durable solutions and/or reparation, including the right to return to their homes of origin and the right to repossess their properties.
Joint written statement submitted to the U.N. Human Rights Council, Twelfth Session
14 September - 2 October 2009
When I was asked to go back to two villages I had visited last year to write an article on the situation in al Aqaba and Yanoun, I was very pleased. I have been impressed by Yanoun and Al Aqaba; these villages that have resisted years of harassment and attempts to erase them from the map. Yanoun is located next to Nablus, and is surrounded by the settlement of Itemar. As a result of repeated attacks, all the residents of Yanoun were forced to leave in 2002. They all came back after a permanent international presence had been established. Since then, the villagers have stood together against the continuous threat of the settlers.
Badil Resource Center submitted two statements to the sixth session of the Human Rights Council, held in Geneva between 10-28 September 2007.
Al-Lajjun villagers continue their struggle
Lying at the foot of the plain of Marj ibn Amr, an ancient crossroads where the road from Haifa and Lebanon crosses the Damascus to Cairo thoroughfare, the village of al-Lajjun has a long history of political significance. In 1516 when the Ottomans took the area from Mamluk control, Lajjun was one of five district (liwa) towns in Palestine. During the British Mandate villagers played a significant role in the Arab Revolt–the anti-colonial struggle of 1936-1939. This legacy of resistance is proudly remembered by today’s villagers fighting a legal battle from their position as internally displaced only 6 kilometers down the road.
How the unresolved Palestinian refugee question stands for the failure of the international human rights and humanitarian regime
At the beginning of the 20th century, most Palestinians lived inside the borders of Palestine, which is now divided into Israel and the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Today, almost 75% of the Palestinian people are displaced, and Palestinian refugees present the world’s largest and longest-standing unresolved refugee case. Approximately half of the Palestinian people live in forced exile outside their homeland, while another 23% are displaced within the borders of former Palestine.1 Six decades after the first and most massive wave of forced displacement in 1948, Palestinian refugees and internally displaced persons (IDP) still lack access to durable solutions and reparations, including return, restitution and compensation, in accordance with international law and UN resolutions. While more Palestinians are being displaced today, effective protection is still not available for them.
Assessing the response to situations of internal displacement in the OPT
This article presents some of the main findings and recommendations emerging from an assessment of the response to situations of internal displacement in the OPT conducted by Badil with the cooperation of communities affected and members of the Inter-Agency Displacement Working Group and the financial support of Oxfam-Québec. The assessment stemmed from the identified need to better understand how we – UN agencies, local and international NGOs, donor governments and the Palestinian Authority – assist and protect internally displaced persons (IDPs) and people at risk of displacement in the OPT. It stemmed also from the desire to implement the Collaborative Response to Situations of Internal Displacement in the OPT in a manner that respects international law and best practices.
Segregated Palestinian Towns and Villages of the West Bank
Today, 266,422 Palestinians residing in 77 West Bank localities have been surrounded and isolated by apartheid infrastructure and settlements and are facing displacement. The current crisis in the West Bank is one of the most wide-scale attempts at dispossession in recent years, with the occupation systematically targeting villages located in strategic areas along the 'green line' and near settlements. Palestinian communities are set to be expelled from areas required for settlement expansion, or are marked for inclusion outside de facto borders of the Palestinian ghettos delineated by the path of the Wall.