BADIL has published Working Paper No. 20 on Denial of Access to Natural Resources and Services, as part of its ten-paper series on Forced Population Transfer: The Case of Palestine. This Working Paper focuses on Israeli control of Palestinian access to natural resources such as water, and services, like healthcare, and the legal implications and consequences of this domination. While other policies of forced population transfer analyzed in this series target Palestinians individually, the denial of access to natural resources and services has a collective character, targeting Palestinian communities or the Palestinian people in general. Besides their collective impact, both policies are inherently intertwined, and as such, the existence of one can often result in the other. These policies not only constitute a practice of denial of the right to self-determination, but directly contribute to the de-development of Palestinian communities, which affects their ability to enjoy an adequate standard of living generally, and reduces their capacity to remain in their homes.
Rooted within a legal framework based on international law, this paper explores the Israeli control over natural resources in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) and the resulting denial of access for Palestinians. The consequences of this denial both hinders normal life in Palestinian communities, contributing to the creation of a coercive environment for affected Palestinians and prevents Palestinians from exercising sovereignty over their own resources and benefiting from their economic exploitation, with the subsequent loss of potential earnings. Following this, the report analyzes the discrimination in Israeli provision of services across Mandatory Palestine, both inside Israel and the oPt. Here, the research analyses the intentional and discriminatory deprivation of services to Palestinian communities by Israel, with the aim of forcibly transferring them from the area.
Both of these policies trigger forcible displacement which encompasses multiple and systematic human rights violations, as well as amounting in certain cases to war crimes and crimes against humanity. BADIL emphasizes the need to document and highlight all instances of denial of both natural resources and services, and underlines the use of this policy as a means of forced population transfer. As long as the international community, relevant agencies and third-party states continue to afford Israel the impunity with which to carry out this denial and systematic discrimination against Palestinians, these will continue to be unprotected and forced to leave their homes, while Israel continues its illegal policies of colonization and apartheid.
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About the series:
This Series of Working Papers on forced population transfer is intended to encourage debate, and to stimulate discussion and critical comment. Together, and drawing upon desk and field-based research, these papers will identify and explore the key components of Israel’s policies and mechanisms of forcible transfer of the Palestinian population. Specifically, BADIL has identified the following components:
- Denial of Residency
- Discriminatory Zoning and Planning
- Installment of a Permit Regime
- Suppression of Resistance
- Denial of Access to Natural Resources and Services
- Land Confiscation and Denial of Use
- Institutionalized Discrimination and Segregation
- Denial of Reparation (return/repatriation, property restitution, compensation and non-repetition of violations)
- Non-state actions (with the implicit consent of the Israeli state)