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Quarterly Newsletter
April - June 2014
 
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Strategic Action I: Empowering Rights Holders

A. EMPOWERING WOMEN AND YOUTH 
    1. Youth Empowerment
The winter semester of BADIL’s course given at Al-Quds University Law School, “Palestinian Refugees under International Law” drew 106 law students, a record high registration amount since the course began. All 106 students passed the course, and two students chose to do their graduation thesis on issues related to the Palestinian conflict: “Palestinian Refugees: An Overview” and “The Case of Israeli Occupation: Prolonged Occupation and Features of Colonization”.
   
     2. Women Empowerment
BADIL implemented three more training sessions in practical skill development (photography, interviews and documentation) for a total of 9 training sessions of its Women Empowerment in Area C project. This quarter the project featured the first viewing of a photo exhibition, taken by the participants and produced by BADIL. The exhibition was put on display during the 66th commemoration of the Nakba. 30 women take part in the project that aims to enhance their skills of data collection, documenting violations and photography with the aim to empower them for resisting forcible displacement.

B. ENHANCING COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

1. Local and National Campaigns

Campaign against Forced Population Transfer
BADIL implemented eight more training sessions in Area C on forced population transfer in June, for a total of ten training sessions. The target groups for these training sessions were Palestinian Bedouin communities and municipal councils and villages “hosting” these communities. The training sessions focused on Israeli policies of forced population transfer and practical measures that can be taken to increase Palestinian resilience.

66th Nakba Commemoration
Hundreds of Palestinians and internationals attended the national commemoration of the Nakba which took place in Al-Walaja village, in Bethlehem District. The event included the erection of a tent in the lands of the displaced village of Al-Walaja, displaying a photo exhibition about forced population transfer and a march towards the Armistice Line of 1949. Israeli soldiers surrounded the tent and did not allow anybody to leave it. They then shot tear gas at it. Later, the Israeli army destroyed the tent including the photo exhibition.
The Nakba commemoration was implemented in cooperation with 8 community-based organizations: Ibdaá Foundation for the Development of Child’s Abilities and International Cultural Exchange, Youth Action Center for Community Development, Shoruq Organization, Aida Youth Center, Lajee Center, Alrowwad Cultural and Theatre Society, Ansar Center and the Alternative Information Center.
 
Commemoration of World Refugee Day

On 19 June, BADIL organized a photographic exhibition in commemoration of World Refugee at the Palace of Nations, Geneva, that drew significant attention from UN officials. BADIL complemented the exhibition by a statement on the ongoing crime of forced population transfer committed against the Palestinian people.

      2. Al-Awda Award
This is the 8th year of BADIL’s annual Al-Awda Award. BADIL launched the 2014 Award on 10 February under the theme “No to Decreasing Refugee Rights, Yes to Comprehensive International Protection” with two categories: Best Nakba Poster and Journalistic Stories.

40 submissions from all over historic Palestine and abroad arrived by 17 April, the deadline for the first category, Best Nakba Poster. The winning poster, created by Ahmad Durgham from the Gaza Strip, was announced and then utilized in the 66th Nakba commemoration.

6 June was the deadline for the second category, Journalistic Stories. 32 submissions were received, and the final result of this category will be announced in August 2014.
   
 3. Partnerships with community-based organizations (CBOs)
BADIL supported 17 popular initiatives with CBOs covering all of historic Palestine during the 66th Nakba commemorations. BADIL CBO partners implemented a variety of activities, ranging from artistic murals, marathons, and photo exhibitions. 

C. INFLUENCING PUBLIC OPINION

     1. Networks and Coalitions

As a member of Occupied Palestine and Golan Advocacy Initiative (OPGAI), BADIL assisted in and contributed to the production of the film “Negotiating for Rights . . . Reality or Illusion”. The film covers various topics of the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations context.
 
BADIL issued a joint statement with 27 national and global human rights organizations regarding the proposed Arab Court of Human Rights.
 
BADIL issued another joint statement on the 66th commemoration of the Nakba. The statement was endorsed by 71 Palestinian and international organizations.


      2. Publications

BADIL published a variety of tools for the 66th Nakba Commemoration (all in Arabic):
     3. Media

BADIL published 23 press releases relating to its activities, publications and work in international advocacy. In addition, BADIL staff members participated in 12 TV and radio spots (for nine hours of airtime). These include a live six-hour feature on Ma’an/MIX TV for the Nakba Commemoration.
 
BADIL made the news in the following internet news sites:
     4. Hosting International Delegations

BADIL hosted 13 groups, with a total number of 256 guests, in the second quarter of 2014.

D. INSTITUTIONAL AGENCY

 BADIL has developed an organizational Code of Conduct and revised its financial and procurement manual. Both documents will be ratified by BADIL’s Board of Directors in the third quarter of 2014.
 
BADIL staff members participated in two focused trainings in the second quarter of 2014: (1) a nine-day training in Amman, Jordan on “Accountability according to International Law: the Palestinian Experience” and (2) a three-day training in Bethlehem on “Results-based Monitoring and Evaluation”. 

Strategic Action I: Empowering Rights Holders

     1. Research
BADIL released two working papers in April, launching a 10 paper series on the Forced Population Transfer: The Case of Palestine. The series aims intended to identify and explore the key components of Israel’s policies and mechanisms of forced transfer of the Palestinian population. The first two papers in the series are the Introduction  and Denial of Residency.

     2. Legal & International Advocacy
In Geneva, Switzerland, BADIL participated in:
  • The United Nations Roundtable on the Legal Aspects of the Question of Palestine which was organized by the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.
  • The 26th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council submitting two written statements and three oral statements and implementing one side event, “Human Rights in the State of Palestine”;
  • As a member of the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA), BADIL participated in the UNHCR–NGO Annual Consultations, the pre-Executive Committee (EXCOM) of UNHCR, which took place between 17 and 19 June. University School of Law International Human Rights Clinic and Oxford Refugee Studies Center, and BADIL prepared a statement entitled “Protecting Palestinian - Syrian Refugees: Laws, Policies, and Global Responsibility Sharing”. The joint statement will be discussed in the coming annual meeting of the UNHCR-EXCOM. Finally, BADIL briefed ICVA on the new edition of Closing Protection Handbook on Protection Gap. The new edition of the Handbook will have updated country profiles and various legal rulings, as well as clarifying some of the concepts in previous editions.
In Amman, Jordan, BADIL presented a testimonial to the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the Occupied Territories. The testimonial focused on continued grave violation of international law - particularly forced population transfer - perpetrated by the state of Israel against the Palestinian people.
Copyright © 2014 BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, All rights reserved.


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