(26 July 2018) Enhancing Palestinian Access to Land through Alternative Rights-based Approaches

PR/EN/260718/26

BADIL’s strategic programs include enhancing Palestinian resilience in Area C communities by enhancing access to land trough the development of alternative rights-based approaches in close cooperation and partnership with marginalized Palestinian communities.
 
In the preparatory phase, BADIL conducted needs assessments with multiple communities in order to determine a list of priorities and possible initiatives to alleviate the coercive environment. The selected intervention communities are: Al-Walaja, Beit Skaria, Wadi Rahhal, and Al-Jab’a. All the communities are located within the Etzion colonial bloc, in southern Bethlehem governorate. BADIL also facilitated meetings between the selected communities and various Palestinian ministries and non-government organizations operating in the area to enhance the scope, create possibilities for additional support and reduce the likelihood of duplication.  

In the second phase, the initiatives were implemented in partnership with the village councils and various sectors of civil society.

In Al-Walaja, on Al-Rwisat Mountain an agricultural road was rehabilitated, resulting in increasing access to farm lands there for over 30 families.

In Beit Skaria, solar panels were installed to provide electricity to the Women’s Association resulting in the provision of a reliable source of electricity there the reduction of the cost and enhancement of production and storage of products for consumer retail and consumption.  Accordingly, the Women’s Association is the main source of income for 40 women in Beit Skaria.

In Wadi Rahhal, water pumps were installed at the last water access point, providing improved water access for approximately 500 persons in the Thabra community; an area that has experienced severe water shortages due to the weak water pressure that is controlled by the nearby Israeli colony.

Finally, in Al-Jab’a, another agricultural road was rehabilitated and now provides access for over 50 farmers to their lands that are presently under the threat of confiscation by Israel.

Importantly, this program is aligned with BADIL’s strategy that aims to empower rights holders, and reinforce their ability to develop initiatives that increase their steadfastness and resistance to the Israeli policies that culminate in forcible transfer and is implemented in parallel to other programs with the same objective. Another component, implemented in parallel to the community initiatives, is data collection for the production of evidence-based legal research though a survey and legal analysis that aims to shed light on the coercive environment and the Israeli policies imposed on Palestinian communities located within the Etzion colonial bloc.  Information and conclusions derived from the research will be used to increase national and international awareness and legal advocacy. 

For additional information, see the short video Increasing Palestinian Resilience in Area C.