BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights organized a series of meetings during September and October as part of the Palestinian Women Forum project, bringing together women from different Palestinian communities throughout Mandate Palestine. The meetings included lectures and discussions on the issue of Palestinian refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
The Palestinian Women Forum aims to empower women in areas vulnerable to displacement, providing them with necessary tools and skills to raise their voices on issues of forced displacement. These skills are then linked to mechanisms that local and international decision-makers can access. The project will nurture the potential of women participants to organize popular campaigns in their own communities. The aim is to raise awareness from within, about the causes of forced displacement experienced by residents on both sides of the Green Line.
The first meeting was held at BADIL's headquarters in Bethlehem, where participants were introduced to one another, the nature of the work, as well as the programs and projects of BADIL. Participants included fifteen women from Bethlehem, Hebron, Jerusalem, Nablus, Tulkarem, and Nazareth. The women were interconnected by the meeting, a space where they could build new relationships, and engage in dialogue together. They discussed the local importance of the Palestinian Women Forum project, and its objectives moving forward.
The second and third meetings included a workshop on forced displacement and the case of Palestine. A panel discussion was held on the definition of refugees and IDPs, the history of Palestinian displacement since 1917 to today, and the most prominent policies of displacement implemented by Israel against Palestinians. The workshop also included a panel discussion on the classification of Palestinian refugees under international law. The participants had a long discussion about UN Resolution 194, concerning the Palestinian refugee issue.
The project will run until the end of 2017, and will continue to be implemented through lectures and workshops. Participants will be able to discuss and recognize the most important Israeli policies of forced displacement affecting the Palestinian people.