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Quarterly Newsletter
October - December 2016
 
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Strategic Action I: Empowering Rights Holders

A. Empowering Women and Youth
 

●      Women Empowerment

In partnership with Bethlehem University, BADIL implemented two workshops as part of its Women Empowerment program. The first workshop focused on the ongoing Nakba and the second addressed the issue of forced population transfer under international law, highlighting the case of Palestine. In addition to the workshops, the project included a field visit to Fasayel village whose residents are under the threat of displacement. The Women Empowerment program is part of BADIL’s overall empowerment pillar and includes educational trainings as well as skill building to ensure inclusion of Palestinian voices at the forefront of political discussions.

   

●     Youth Camp

After a number of focus group sessions with our partner CBOs and at their request, for the first time in a number of years, BADIL reinstituted its Youth Camp Empowerment Project. The program included 45 participants from both sides of the Green Line and encompassed three days of intensive educational and skill development workshops. In addition to the workshops, the program also included two field visits. The project has the multi-faceted objectives of empowerment, social cohesion, and unity. 

   

●      Empowerment of Youth in Jerusalem

In partnership with three community-based organizations (CBOs), BADIL is implementing the Visualizing Occupied Jerusalem Project. This project aims to highlight the daily suffering of Palestinians in Jerusalem under the policies of forcible transfer. Thirty youth from Jerusalem are engaged in the project which features guest speakers who discuss; international law, education on Israeli policies of population transfer in Jerusalem, documentation of human rights violations, and skill building in multimedia production and photography.

   
         
   

●      BADIL’s Course on Palestinian Refugees under International Law

The academic course entitled “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, as well as field tours to areas facing forcible transfer, 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.
 
   

B. Enhancing Community Engagement

●      Online Q&A Contest “We are from There”
 
The Global Palestinian Refugee Network (GPRN), of which BADIL is a founding member, organized and implemented an online contest throughout the months of November and December for the first time. The contest is part of BADIL’s new approach to engage and empower Palestinian civil society through online mechanisms. The contest concluded on 14 December 2016 and resulted in 11 winners. The contest drew almost 750 youth participants from historic Palestine and the diaspora. 

●      Campaign highlighting Israeli Suppression 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 three statements on the use of excessive force with the intention to cause significant injury against Palestinian youth by the Israeli occupying forces; the first statement was published in August, along with two follow-up statements, one in September and another in December. These wilful 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. BADIL has also published a working paper called “Forced Population Transfer: The Case of Palestine - Suppression of Resistance” which addresses the issue of Israeli suppression as a policy of forced displacement and transfer.   
   

 ●      Towards enhancing the role and services of UNRWA

BADIL continues its efforts to support, coordinate with, and assist UNRWA in their roles and responsibilities towards 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. BADIL engaged in the annual Academic Friends of UNRWA Workshop in the United Kingdom, hosted by Exeter University. This year’s workshop addressed the role of UNRWA as a stabilizing actor in the Middle East, its strengths and weaknesses, as well as potential solutions and alternatives regarding the chronic budget deficit. 
         

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 five 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: revocation of parliamentary immunity, strengthening  the independence of the Palestinian judicial system, Israeli legalization of piracy, the oppression of free speech though intimidation and attacks on human rights defenders at the request of the Special Rapporteur of the oPt, and in partnership with the Palestinian NGO Network a response to the UN Security Council Resolution No. 2334 regarding Israeli colonies in the occupied territory.
 
As a founding member of the Global Palestinian Refugee Network (GPRN), BADIL organized the second annual meeting which took place in Dheisheh Refugee Camp. The meeting resulted in the development of an action plan and statement (in Arabic) announcing the launch of a multiyear campaign under the slogan “Implementation of 194 Resolution = Dignity, Justice and Sustainable Peace” in preparation for the upcoming centennial commemoration of the Balfour Declaration and the 70-year commemoration of the Nakba.

2. Tools            


 
BADIL produced and released two films in the final quarter of 2016: Fleeing the Same War which addresses the secondary forcible transfer of Palestinian refugees from Syria seeking asylum in the UK and Forcible Transfer in the Old City of Hebron which is accompanied by The Case of the Old City of Hebron Brief. Both videos among others are available in Arabic and English on BADIL’s Vimeo page.

                                           

3. Media  
 
BADIL in the News: 25 articles highlighting BADIL’s rights-based solution, initiatives and activities were featured in alternative news venues. As in the previous quarter the issue of excessive use of force by the Israeli military against Palestinian youth took priority in both Palestinian and international media outlets. 
 
BADIL published 22 English and 23 Arabic press releases relating to its activities, publications and work in all its programs.

D. Institutional Agency 

To enhance its security and safety protocols, BADIL has embarked on implementing a risk assessment and developing a security manual. To enhance its capacity in this area, staff completed a 12 week online training course in Security and Protection

Strategic Action II: Influencing Duty Bearers

1. Research

Released:
  • Brief, Forced Population Transfer: the Case of the Old City of Hebron, in Arabic and English
  • Working Paper #19: Forced Population Transfer: The Case of Palestine-Suppression of Resistance, in English
In progress:
  • Al-Majdal Issue #59, Palestinian Refugees in Latin America and Europe (Part I)

2. Legal and International Advocacy
 

Legal Advocacy:

BADIL continues to be heavily involved in efforts to develop understanding among relevant actors on 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.

BADIL’s interventions within the UN special mechanisms include: a consultation meeting with the Committee on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD); engagement with UN Forum on Business and Human Rights; and a joint submission on human rights defenders through PHROC to the Special Rapporteur on the oPt.

Following up with the International Criminal Court (ICC), BADIL responded to the update issued by the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP) in late November calling for a formal investigation into the crimes committed by Israel during the 2014 war on the Gaza Strip.

With regards to the UNHRC, BADIL engaged in all three sessions of 2016 highlighting, among other issues, discriminatory Israeli policies inside Hebron, in the occupied West Bank, and the excessive use of force by the Israeli military.

In a joint panel discussion at the European Parliament, BADIL highlighted the accountability of third party states toward Israeli violations and international crimes against the Palestinian people and the complicity of private corporations operating in the oPt.  

International Advocacy:

In coordination with two other Palestinian human rights organizations, BADIL engaged in the second session of the intergovernmental Working Group on Transnational Corporations tackling the issue of corporate complicity in human rights violations in Palestine.

In a joint statement endorsed by 20 Palestinian and international organizations, BADIL called for the protection of human rights defenders working on issues associated with Palestine.

BADIL provided 33 lectures to international delegations, for a total of 661 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 people from the business sector, who came from multiple countries including; Italy, Ireland, Spain, Norway, the USA, and Chile. 
Copyright © 2016, BADIL Resource Center, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
P.O.Box, Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine
 






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BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights · PO Box 728 Karkafa Street · Bethlehem 92248 · Palestine