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Quarterly Newsletter
July-September 2014

 
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Strategic Action I: Empowering Rights Holders

A. EMPOWERING WOMEN AND YOUTH 
    1. Youth Empowerment
To raise the voice of youth rights holders, BADIL initiated a capacity building initiative to strengthen their ability to document human rights violations through writing and the production of multimedia tools. The violations focus on three of nine Israeli policies that aim to forcibly displace Palestinians: restriction of the freedom of movement, restriction on the use of land and natural resources, and Israeli settler violence perpetuated with impunity. 

     2. Women Empowerment
The Women Empowerment Project closed with a regional tour that combined a photographic exhibition with the screening of the multimedia tools (short films) and the launching of the working paper, “Testimonies on Forced Population Transfer of Palestinians: Women Empowerment in Area C”.   
For more information see, in Arabic:

B. ENHANCING COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

1. Local and National Campaigns

On 29 July, BADIL supported a march to the Nativity Square and vigil that highlighted the disturbingly high number of children fatalities in Gaza and the international community’s responsibility to protect children.  The initiative arose from refugee children and children’s organizations.  It was complemented by a statement from refugee children to decision makers all over the world. BADIL also worked on the humanitarian level, to coordinate with local partner organizations and communities and international agencies such as UNRWA to facilitate and support logistically their humanitarian initiatives. Children’s statement,

      2. Al-Awda Award
The 2014 Al Awda Award competition was completed on 18 August with the announcement of the winners in the Best Journalistic Story category. Thirty-two stories were received that addressed the practicalities of Palestinian refugee return with regards to mechanisms, methods and consequences. See, in Arabic
   
 3. Partnerships with community-based organizations (CBOs)
The Youth Empowerment initiative is implemented in partnership with three Palestinian organizations: Lajee Centre in Aida Refugee Camp, Shurouq Association in Deheisha Refugee Camp, and Yafa Centre in Balata Refugee Camp. 

C. INFLUENCING PUBLIC OPINION

     1. Networks and Coalitions
Through our networks and coalitions, BADIL produced, supported and/or endorsed the following statements in a Joint Advocacy Campaign for Gaza.
  • Open Letter to UN Secretary General, which was endorsed by 135 international and Palestinian organizations.
  • Message to Decision Makers around the world from Palestinian Children.
  • Statement from Human Rights Organizations to the International Community to stop the aggression on Gaza. 
  • PHROC Open Letter to UN Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon on Hostilities in the Gaza Strip.
  • PHROC Open Letter regarding the EU’s responsibility to stop Israel’s targeting of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
  • PHROC Oral Statement - Human Rights Council 21st special session of the Council on the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.
  • Human Rights Council Special Session on Palestine: the EU must not repeat past mistakes regarding Israeli military attacks against the Gaza Strip.
  • PHROC Open Letter to Baroness Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative and Ambassadors of the EU Political and Security Committee regarding the EU’s responsibility to stop Israel’s targeting of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

      2. Publications
  • Testimonies on Forced Population Transfer of Palestinians: Women Empowerment in Area C.
  • Haq Al Awda, Issue #59, “Gaza Reborn” with the Issue theme: “Persevering Gaza:  An Evidence of Conviction and a Continuous Crime”

     3. Media
BADIL published 11 English and 10 Arabic press releases relating to its activities, publications and work in international advocacy. In addition, BADIL participated in 3 radio spots abroad, amounting to 18 minutes of prime air time; interviews were conducted with Newstalk in Dublin for the Breakfast Show which boasts 100,000 listeners, BBC Radio Foyle in Derry and BBC Radio Ulster in Belfast, also reaching thousands of listeners.  BADIL promoted its rights-based approach specifically in regard to the current war on Gaza and Israel’s responsibilities and obligations under international humanitarian law.

     4. Hosting International Delegations
BADIL hosted 8 international delegations for a total of 100 participants from July to September highlighting the nine main policies of forced population transfer utilized by the state of Israel today.
In addition, during the speaking and advocacy tour in Ireland and the United Kingdom, BADIL gave three public talks in Dublin, Derry and Belfast, as part of the annual Feile (festival for social justice and human rights). Over 200 people, activists, human rights defenders, public officials and political party members, attended the talks which centered on the ongoing Israeli military operation in Gaza, Israel’s continued failure to comply with international law and the extent of war crimes committed by Israel.

D. INSTITUTIONAL AGENCY

On 7 September 2014, BADIL lost one of its most active supporters, human rights defender and head of the Board of Directors, Mr. Ahmad Muhaisen.  During a subsequent meeting of the board, on 15 September 2014, based on a unanimous decision, board member Dr. Adnan Al Laham was appointed the new head of the Board of Directors.
For the first time, BADIL performed an Interim External Financial Audit in late September to increase financial capacity and control.  
 
BADIL is building a new "soft-copy" archive. BADIL's existing archive included only the various publications of the organization - from research, to posters and stickers. However, with BADIL's expansion into new territories, now we are required to store photographs, audio and video content that are produced by BADIL. Moreover, the new archive will include the primary sources that BADIL uses for the production of our publications - from archival documents to interviews with individuals (both in audio or text formats). The archive is intended to allow future use of current research where all sources are gathered in one place that is searchable.

BADIL is also in the process of developing a Fellowship Program to attract post-graduates and academics to support and expand BADIL’s research initiatives.  Fellows will be expected to produce a research worthy of publication in academic journals. This will increase BADIL’s constituency and readership.  A fellowship manual is under final revision and BADIL hopes to recruit the first fellow in the coming months. 

Strategic Action II: Influencing Duty Bearers

     1. Research
BADIL has begun a new research study to investigate the consequences of the recent aggression against Gaza and the possibility of forced population transfer as a war crime. The topics that will be highlighted in the study are: forced displacement as a war crime and the Rome statute; Israeli shelling of homes and warnings as unlawful practices; the legal exception, “unless the security of the population or imperative military reasons do demand”; consideration of the crime of deportation, the blockade and the conditions of those displaced; investigation and prosecution including national mechanisms, the International Criminal Court and Universal Jurisdiction. The study will include case studies and documentation of forced population transfer in Gaza. 

     2. Legal & International Advocacy
In addition to the joint advocacy campaign for Gaza through the PHROC (above), BADIL implemented the following legal advocacy activities with the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees and other treaty bodies:  
  • Participation in the 21st Special Session of the UNHRC on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem on 23 July, see the video 
  • Participation in the 27th session of the UNHRC by attending 2 side events on Gaza, implementing 2 joint side events and chairing 2 side events as well as 2 oral statements and 2 written statements.
  • Participation in the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHRC or UN Refugee Agency) by organizing and moderating an Expert Panel on the Syrian Refugee Crisis.
  • Participation in the 6th International NGO Forum on the Economic Social and Cultural Rights of Women from 2-3 September
  • Participation in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) on 12 September, focusing on forced population transfer and Israeli zoning and planning policies designed to forcibly displace and the submission of shadow report: BADIL’s Written Report in Response to Israel’s Fourth Periodic Report to the UN Human Rights Committee (CCPR/C/ISR/4).
  • Speaking and Advocacy Tour in Ireland and the UK.
 
International Advocacy: BADIL implemented an international mobile photographic exhibition within the Women Empowerment Project. The exhibition was on display in two locations in Europe (Germany and Great Britain) and five states in the United States of America (Michigan, Illinois, Washington DC, Massachusetts and California). The exhibition was accompanied by screening of the short films and attracted hundreds of participants, of multiple nationalities.  The tour was instrumental utilizing the tools produced by the women participants to raise awareness of the effects of forced population transfer on women. 
Copyright © 2014 BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, All rights reserved.


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