Housing, land and natural resources

The Sun Belongs to Everyone

Receiving on average eight and a half hours of sun every day, Palestine’s abundance of sunlight combined with the open and expansive landscapes of the West Bank, give rise to enormous potential in solar energy generation. For many Palestinian communities in Area C, which constitutes over 60 percent of the West Bank, power harnessed through solar energy is the only source of electricity available. Where the Israeli Civil Administration (ICA) has denied Palestinian communities access to the nearby electricity networks, solar panels serve to power refrigerators necessary to preserve medication and food, heat water, and provide lighting for children to study, amongst other uses. In these circumstances, solar energy does not function as a supplemental source of power but rather constitutes a last resort measure to meet basic human needs.

Unpacking Gender in Coercive Environments: The Case of the Jordan Valley

Since 1967, Israel has systematically and unlawfully appropriated land in the Jordan Valley, located in Area C of the occupied West Bank. Israel’s violations of human rights across the Jordan Valley have created coercive environments intended to displace and forcibly transfer Palestinian communities from the region. Coercive environments created by Israel have demonstrable gendered impacts, disproportionately affecting the well-being and livelihoods of Palestinian women in the region.

An Environmental Approach: The Protection of Natural Resources in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

2017 marks 50 years since Israel’s unlawful occupation of Palestinian territory. During this period, Israel has implemented a variety of policies and practices in order to maintain and seize further control over the territory, while creating uninhabitable living conditions for the Palestinian population. This comes despite Israel’s obligations, as the Occupying Power, to protect the environment and the well-being of the protected population.

Business and Human Rights in Palestine

Upholding international human rights standards is traditionally the responsibility of governments, aimed at regulating relations between the State, individuals and groups. But with the increased role of corporate actors, nationally and internationally, the issue of business impact on the enjoyment of human rights has garnered a great deal of attention. Although the primary duty to protect human rights remains with national governments, companies have a responsibility to respect human rights in their operations.

Facts on the ground

Ideology and politics are not the only drivers of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Economics plays an important role too. The Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) is rich in natural resources, but through its occupation, Israel illegally exploits them for its own benefit.

Israel’s Deadly Catch: Israel Systematically Attacks Gaza’s Fishermen

This Special Report for the 2015 United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights highlights severe human rights abuses suffered by Palestinian fishermen and the decimation of Palestine's fishing industry. The Special Report examines the position of American and Israeli gas companies operating within 13 nm of the Palestinian coast and Israel's brutal closure of Palestinian territorial waters to ensure the protection of gas platforms and pipelines operated by the companies in Palestine's maritime waters. All aspects of the Palestinian fishing industry have been impacted from attacks on fishermen, willful killing, unlawful detentions, and the forced removal of fishermen from occupied territory. The closure of Gaza's sea and land buffer has crippled the economy and reduced the supply of fish, a protein rich source of food, to the point that 57 percent of the population in the Gaza Strip, are currently food insecure. In addition, Israel's repeated military offensives on the Gaza Strip targeting vital infrastructure and causing deliberate damage to sewage facilities has had serious environmental consequences destroying vital fish habitats.

Annexing Energy - Exploiting and Preventing the Development of Oil and Gas in the O.P.T

Israel has forced a naval closure of the Gaza Strip as part of its energy security policy. The El-Arish pipeline and Mari-B gas platform are key Israeli strategic assets for its entire gas distribution network requiring stringent security measures. The Mari-B platform is located only 13 nautical miles from Gaza’s coast and the El-Arish pipeline runs across the entire Palestinian coast at 13 nautical miles connecting Ashkelon in Israel to El-Arish in Egypt. Since 2000, the year that Mari-B was first discovered, Israel has forced the closure of the Gaza Maritime Zone preventing Palestinian fishing and recreational use beyond distances of 6 nautical miles. 

Environmental Injustice In Occupied Palestinian Territory - Problems and Prospects

We were invited by Al Haq and Heinrich Böll Foundation to the West Bank to investigate environmental problems affecting Palestinians, which are attributable to Israel's occupation of the territories of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem) and Gaza Strip. 'Environmental Justice' was the rubric within which we were requested to operate and to report.

Preventing the Development of Palestinian Natural Gas Resources in the Mediterranean Sea

In November 1999, a consortium comprised of Consolidated Contractors Limited (CCC), the British Gas Group (BG) and the Palestine Investment Fund (PIF) concluded an agreement with the former President of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, Yasser Arafat for the development and commercialization of the Gaza Marine fields. The Gaza Marine is located 36 kilometers west of Gaza City in the Mediterranean Sea, 603 meters below sea level, within the contiguous zone attached to Palestinian territorial waters. In 1999, the Palestinian Authority granted a twenty-five year exploration license with 90 percent equity to British Gas. After receiving security clearance from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in 2000, BG drilled two wells in the Gaza Marine finding reserves estimated at 1.4 trillion cubic feet (tfc).

Water For One People Only: Discriminatory Access and ‘Water-Apartheid’ in the OPT

For many years, the Palestinian population of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, has suffered from a shortage of clean, safe water. However, despite alarming predictions of insufficient drinking water supplies by 2040, based on the expected population growth in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), Jordan and Israel, water is not and has not been scarce in the region.

Feasting on the Occupation: Illegality of Settlement Produce and the Responsibility of EU Member States under International Law

Al-Haq’s position paper ‘Feasting on the Occupation: Illegality of Settlement Produce and the Responsibility of EU Member States under International Law’ examines the implications of trade in settlement produce and the entry of such produce into the EU market, in light of the obligations of EU Member States under international law.

Pillage of the Dead Sea: Israel’s Unlawful Exploitation of Natural Resources in the Occupied Palestinian Territory

The Dead Sea area is the lowest point on Earth and the world’s saltiest body of water. It is renowned for its distinctive geographical, mineral and climatic features and is rich in natural resources. The wide variety of minerals present in the area permits the development of profitable cosmetic industries and raw materials, such as silt, sand, gravel and mud, are regularly extracted for these purposes.

Exploring the Illegality of ‘Land Swap’ Agreements under Occupation

Al-Haq’s Exploring the Illegality of ‘Land Swap’ Agreements under Occupation examines the legal implications of the conclusion of ‘land swap’ agreements between Israel and the Palestinian representatives whilst the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip is ongoing.

In Focus: House Demolitions

This In Focus brief, drafted as part of Al-Haq's campaign to stop collective punishment against Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), addresses the use of punitive house demolitions by Israeli authorities. It gives an overview of Israeli practices in the OPT; international legal standards relating to house demolitions; and relevant Israeli jurisprudence.

In Focus: Property Destruction

This In Focus brief, drafted as part of Al-Haq's campaign to stop collective punishment against Palestinians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), addresses the legality of property destruction in the OPT. It gives an overview of Israeli practices in the OPT and relevant international legal standards under both international human rights and humanitarian law.

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