Quarterly Newsletter
April-June 2015

Strategic Action I: Empowering Rights Holders

A. Empowering Women and Youth
    1. Youth Empowerment
Awareness raising with youth occurred during two 3-day intensive training and field mission sessions. 30 youth participated in the program which featured guest speakers on international humanitarian and human rights law, democracy, inclusion and social cohesion. The field visits were to marginalized areas of the West Bank, Area C villages and refugee camps. The program brings together Palestinian youth from both sides of the Green Line for the purpose of increasing social cohesion through interaction, training and engagement. For more details see in Arabic

BADIL continues to provide the course “Palestinian Refugees under International Law” at Al Quds University in Abu Dis with 52 students registered for the spring semester. 

     2. Women Empowerment
One women’s empowerment workshop has been implemented and coincided with the commemoration of International Women’s Day. 14 women from BADIL’s partner organizations participated in the workshop which focused on the challenges faced by women in the implementation of their projects and mechanisms to increase engagement of youth and females in particular. See in English The remaining two workshops are scheduled after Ramadan. 

B. Enhancing Community Engagement

1. Local and National Campaigns

In commemoration of the 67th anniversary of the Nakba, the Global Palestinian Refugee Network, which BADIL is a founding member, organized two main initiatives one in Al-Walajeh village West of Bethlehem, and the other in Bethlehem city. The two initiatives were attended by hundreds of people, including Palestinian youth, women and children. Each year the Nakba commemoration is implemented in cooperation and partnership with civil society organizations, political parties, refugee popular committees, communities under threat of displacement, and local and village councils. In addition to the national commemorations, 12 community-based initiatives were implemented throughout the 2nd quarter of 2015. For more details see in Arabic.

2. Al-Awda Award
The results of the Annual Al-Awda Award 2015 competition were announced in May through honoring ceremonies for the winners, taking place in both Gaza and the West Bank. The ceremonies were attended by participants of the four categories, jury members, representatives of local refugee communities and officials as well as hundreds of people. The competition received almost 300 submissions in the four categories from Palestinians in Mandate Palestine and the Diaspora.

 3. Partnerships Community Based Organisations (CBOs)
BADIL implements all of its programs and activities with Palestinian civil society through partnerships with community-based organizations. To institutionalize our partnerships, we have produced a Partnership Manual which contains the main criteria and responsibilities for bilateral partnership for both parties. Both youth and women empowerment projects are currently being implemented on both sides of the Green Line with a variety of youth organizations. During the 67 Nakba commemorations, BADIL supported 12 community-based initiatives in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in conjunction with CBO partners. The initiatives are wide ranging and include athletic and cultural events for women, youth and children.

BADIL in cooperation with Defense for Children International-Palestine Section has implemented a project to raise awareness among children. The closing event for the project was held in Dheisheh Refugee Camp and was attended by the participants, their families and communities. The main output of the project is a photographic book which is a compilation of photographs taken by the children during the field tours that occurred as part of the awareness raising activities during the project. For more details in Arabic.

C. Influencing Public Opinion

     1. Networks and Coalitions
  • BADIL as a member in the Refugee Working Group participated in a conference organized in Cyprus about representation and participation of Palestinian refugees and internally displaced people. The conference which was lasted for 3 days was attended by representatives of Palestinian civil society from Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Europe, and America, as well as international NGOs who are members in the Refugee Working Group.
  • BADIL is also a founding member of the newly established Global Palestinian Refugee Network, a coalition of Palestinian organizations from Palestine and the Palestinian Diaspora that has been established to provide a framework for the collective and strategic struggle for the realization of the rights of Palestinian refugees and internally displaced persons, specifically, the rights recognized under the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 194 of 1948 and the United Nations Security Council Resolution 237 of 1967. 2015 marks the launch of the GPRN and its leading role in the development and implementation in Land Day and Nakba commemoration initiatives.
  • As a member of the Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC), BADIL supports Palestinian collective advocacy through various international interventions. On 14 July 2014, PHROC sent an Open Letter to Baroness Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative, Ambassadors of the EU Political and Security Committee regarding the EU’s responsibility to stop Israel’s targeting of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip; On 21 July 2014 PHROC sent an Open Letter calling the EU not to repeat past mistakes regarding Israeli military attacks against the Gaza Strip.
      2. Publications
  • A variety of tools are published for the 67th Nakba commemoration and utilized for increasing awareness among Palestinian and international civil society:
  • Haq Al-Awda, Issue #62, “Targeting refugee camps: Targeting the Right of Return”
  • Nakba Brochure, “Return is Our Right and Our Will”
  • Nakba T-Shirt
  • Nakba Poster, in cooperation with the Department of Refugees Affairs-PLO
  • Poster Map, “The Ongoing Nakba since 1917
  • BADIL published the second short-documentary on the Practicalities of Return, introducing additional questions on the issue and proposes possible solutions: 
     3. Media
  • BADIL in the News: alternative news venues featured 22 articles highlighting BADIL’s rights-based solution, initiatives and activities; this includes a two hour live feature on Ma’an TV for the Nakba commemoration.
  • BADIL published 10 English and 17 Arabic press releases relating to its activities, publications and work in all its programs.

Practicalities of Return II: Peace without Return

D. Institutional Agency 

On 9 May 2015, BADIL’s General Assembly held its Annual Meeting and elected its new Board of Directors. 25 out of 35 members attended the meeting and ratified BADIL’s 2014 annual narrative and financial reports. The newly elected members of the Board of Directors, who will serve between May 2015 and May 2017, are: Dr. Adnan Lahham (President); Ms Rania Elias (Vice-President); Mr. Samir Ouda (Treasurer); Mr. Abdallah Al Zeigary (Secretary); and Mr. Salah Ajarma, Ms Sandi Hilal, Mr. Ziad Hamouz, Mr. Sbaih Sbaih and Ms Raneen Jerias (Members).

On 30 June 2015, BADIL put on a new face in the form of a more attractive and user-friendly website

Strategic Action II: Influencing Duty Bearers

1. Research
  • Al-Majdal 57: Palestinian refugees from Syria: Ongoing Nakba, Ongoing Discrimination (2)A
    BADIL released the summer 2015 issue of al-Majdal (#57), titled “Palestinian refugees from Syria: Ongoing Nakba, Ongoing Discrimination 2”. This is the second of our two-issue focus on Palestinian refugees in/from Syria. In both issues, the articles survey the humanitarian and legal status of displaced Palestinians, elaborate the international framework in the Syria crisis, and discuss the implications of this crisis and the terrible outcomes it leads to. The preceding al-Majdal covered the situation of Palestinian refugees from Syria in Lebanon and Jordan. The current issue presents an account of their situation in Syria, Egypt and Turkey.
  • Q and A: What you need to know about Palestinian Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons
    As part of ongoing efforts to promote the rights of displaced Palestinians, BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights is pleased to launch a new and updated Q&A: What you need to know about Palestinian Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons, which answers frequently asked questions on the subject of Palestinian refugees and internally displaced persons. The document is a concise introduction to the issue of the displacement of the Palestinian people and aims to plug glaring gaps in public knowledge on this topic. The Q&A is embedded in the FAQ section in the all new website.
In progress:
  • Research on the 2012-2014 Survey includes updating the demographic distribution of displaced Palestinians worldwide, adding a new section on protection gaps in the Arab countries, and an extensive field research on the perception of protection. The “2012-2014 Survey” will be published later this year. 
2. Legal and International Advocacy

International Advocacy: 
Hosted by Andalusian Solidarity with Palestine (Andalucía Solidaria con Palestina), BADIL toured the south of Spain between the 17 and 24 April, and took part in events to raise awareness about human right violations and war crimes in Palestine. The tour included multiple conferences and speaking events and manifests a growing interest and support towards the Palestinians cause, particularly the rights of Palestinian refugees and the internally displaced, and forms a launch-pad for further collaboration with Spanish civil society. More on the tour here:
BADIL hosted 12 international delegations for a total of 183 participants, in addition to quite a few one-on-one meetings with PhD candidates and researchers from April to June. The majority of the lectures focused on highlighting the nine main Israeli policies of forced population transfer. A lecture on Palestinian refugees from Syria and the protection gap they face, particularly discrimination and the violation of the principle of non refoulement was also given at the request of one delegation. 

Legal Advocacy: 
1. In the occupied Palestinian territory:

Bilateral meetings with a range of UN bodies and international and Palestinian NGOs to identify areas of future cooperation. Briefing given to International and Palestinian NGOs on ICC processes and how NGOs can engage with the Court. Active participation in a number of working groups/sector collectives on the subject of forcible transfer of Palestinian communities. Production of quick reference guide for NGOs/diplomats on the subject of forcible transfer, particularly pertaining to the subject of consent. See 

2. In Europe:

Dissemination of the 2nd edition of the Protection Handbook to UN bodies and European asylum lawyer networks, and preparation of Geneva and Brussels launches.  

3. With the United Nations and its associated mechanisms:

Attendance and active participation for the 29th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council through two oral statements and one written statement.

Press release issued to outline BADIL’s position on the report of the Commission of Inquiry.

Written submission to Special Rapporteur on occupied Palestinian territory highlighting forcible transfer as a pillar of Israeli-perpetrated colonialism and apartheid.

Copyright © 2015 BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, All rights reserved.

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