Quarterly Newsletter
July - September 2016

Strategic Action I: Empowering Rights Holders

A. Empowering Women and Youth Right Holders 
             1. Youth Empowerment         

●      BADIL’s Course on Palestinian Refugees under International Law

The academic course titled “Palestinian Refugees under International Law”, was created by BADIL, and is offered at both Hebron University and Al Quds-Abu Dis University as a core course within their law departments.  BADIL provides the course material and readings, which includes BADIL’s publications, field tours to areas facing forcible transfer for the students, and serves as a guest lecturer for specific topics. The course is currently taught at Hebron University with 53 students registered, and at Al Quds-Abu Dis with 58 registered students.

●      Empowerment of Jerusalem Youth:

In partnership with three community-based organizations (CBOs), BADIL has launched the Visualizing Occupied Jerusalem Project. The project aims to highlight the daily suffering of Palestinians in Jerusalem under the policies of forcible transfer. 30 youth from Jerusalem are engaged in the project which features guest speakers on international law, education on Israeli policies of population transfer forced displacement in Jerusalem, documentation of human rights violations, and skill building in multimedia production and photography. For the recent activities and workshops see the following press releases in Arabic: orientation, 1st workshop, 2nd workshop, field trip, and photography training. 

B. Enhancing Community Engagement

  • Campaign on Israeli Oppression of the Palestinian People

 In light of the escalating aggression against the Palestinian people by the Israeli military, BADIL has embarked on a campaign to highlight the excessive use of force as a component of the Israeli policy of oppression. BADIL has issued two statements on the use of excessive force against Palestinian youth by the Israeli occupying forces with the intention to cause significant injury; the first statement was published in August and a follow-up statement in September.  These willful and grave breaches of international law trigger the obligations of third party states and other mandated agencies to put an end to this climate of impunity under which Israeli forces and its officials operate.
 The topic has found significant resonance with a number of media outlets and organizations, including UNRWA. The initial statement was picked up by dozens of national, international, and alternative media networks: in French by the Euro Med Monitor; in Italian by InfoPal News Agency, in Spanish by Argentina Today, in addition to Ma’an News Network, Electronic Intifada and Mondoweiss, just to name a few.

BADIL also raised this issue during its legal advocacy interventions in the 33rd session of the UNHRC. BADIL intends to do more extensive research on the issue of excessive use of force in the coming months and is considering bringing this matter to the attention of the ICC.  BADIL’s previous engagement with the ICC was in February through a submission on the crimes of forcible transfer and persecution which can be found here.

  • Towards enhancing the role and services of UNRWA

BADIL continues its efforts to support, coordinate with, and assist UNRWA in its roles and responsibilities toward Palestinian refugees. BADIL was heavily engaged in the situation regarding the 2015 UNRWA budget crisis and in 2016 organized a panel discussion with members of Palestinian popular committees, academics, representatives of community-based organizations operating in refugee communities, and UNRWA staff. The panel tackled the issue of challenges faced by UNRWA in the coming years and was led by Prof. Michael Dumper (University of Exeter), an international expert on UNRWA and Palestinian refugees. In addition, the 67th issue of BADIL’s Arabic newspaper, Haq al Awda further addressed the issue of UNRWA’s challenges and responsibilities.

  • National Heritage Festival 

The Global Palestinian Refugee Network (GPRN), of which BADIL is a founding member, organized a National Heritage Festival in Dheisheh Refugee Camp. Hundreds of people attended the activity, including Palestinian youth, women, and children. Under the umbrella of the GPRN, which seeks to advance the rights and raise the voices of Palestinian refugees and IDPs, the event highlighted the uniqueness, beauty, and resilience of Palestinian identity and culture.

C. Influencing Public Opinion

1. Networks and Coalitions
As member of the Palestinian Human Rights Organizations Council (PHROC), BADIL and 12 other Palestinian human rights organizations issued four statements related to the violation of human rights against the Palestinian people. The collaborative nature of  PHROC interventions constitute the unification of messaging from Palestinian human rights organizations on current issues such as: Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people through torture and administrative detention; the oppression of free speech though intimidation and attacks on human rights organizations and defenders; and support to the launch of the women’s boat heading for Gaza.
2. Publications 
Haq Al Awda Newspaper, #67, UNRWA: Challenges and Responsibilities, in Arabic 
3. Media 
BADIL in the News: 67 articles highlighting BADIL’s rights-based solution, initiatives and activities were featured in alternative news venues. This is a record high achieved for the first time by BADIL. The hot topics included both the recent release of BADIL’s case study Forced Population Transfer: The Case of the Old City of Hebron and the Israeli policy of oppression and suppression of the Palestinian people through the excessive use of force targeting Palestinian youth.
BADIL published 12 English and 18 Arabic press releases relating to its activities, publications and work in all its programs.

Strategic Action II: Influencing Duty Bearers

1. Research
In progress:
  • Brief, Forced Population Transfer: the Case of the Old City of Hebron
  • Working Paper #19: Forced Population Transfer, the Israeli policy of oppression and suppression of Palestinian resistance and resilience (working title)
  • Al-Majdal Issue #59, Palestinian Refugees in Latin America (Part I)
2. Legal and International Advocacy

Legal Advocacy : 

BADIL continues to be heavily involved in efforts to develop understanding among relevant actors of the legal framework of forcible transfer, and in the creation of tools which can effectively document the presence of Israeli-perpetrated forcible transfer inside the occupied Palestinian territory.

On 14 July, BADIL was invited to brief the new Special Rapporteur (SR) on the situation of human rights in the oPt, Mr. Michael Link, in Amman, Jordan. BADIL highlighted the issue of contemporary forcible transfer of the Palestinian people through Israeli policies and practices.  The SR expressed the intention to collaborate very closely with Palestinian human rights organizations. The opening of dialogue through the mission in Amman Jordan signaled the beginning of this collaboration. The SR issued an end of mission statement on 20 July 2016.

BADIL continued its legal advocacy efforts through its participation in the 33rd Session of the UNHRC with the submission of four oral statements and a joint side event.

International Advocacy: 

BADIL provided 17 lectures to international delegations, for a total of 322 people, on Palestinian refugees and IDPs, the Israeli policies of forcible transfer and the obligations of 3rd party states according to the frameworks of international humanitarian and human rights law. The delegations comprised of university students, political party and union leaders, academics and activists, as well as business persons, came from multiple countries including Italy, Ireland, Spain, Norway, the USA and Chile.
In September, BADIL participated in the annual international Humanity Festival hosted by the French Twinning Association with Palestinian refugee camps (AJPF). Hundreds of thousands of people attended the annual cultural and arts festival in Paris which attracted both civil society and local and national politicians. BADIL contributed a short documentary, a photographic exhibition and its publications to the festival. In addition to providing three lectures on the situation of Palestinian refugees and internally displaced persons, BADIL participated in a number of dialogue sessions with French government officials and political party members.

Copyright © 2016 BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, All rights reserved.

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