DISPLACED BY THE WALL
Forced Displacement as a Result of the West Bank Wall and its Associated Regime
For Immediate Release
No. (E/27/06) 08 December 2006
Palestinians have undergone several waves of forced displacement, since the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948, and continue to face displacement today. The Wall and its regime are the most recent cause of forced displacement in the occupied Palestinian territories. Displaced by the Wall: Forced Displacement as a Result of the West Bank Wall and its Associated Regime presents through systematic analysis, research and direct interviews how the Wall leads to a staggering number of human rights abuses. Forced displacement for the purpose of altering the demographic composition of a territory is population transfer - a war crime and a crime against humanity.
The date of the launch coincides with UN General Assembly Resolution 194 (11 December 1948) - and the 58th anniversary of the Universal Declaration for Human Rights (10 December 1948) and both affirming the fundamental rights of people to be protected from forced displacement and to return to their homes and properties - rights which have yet to be enforced with regard to Palestinians.
Forced displacement prevents a lasting and just solution to the conflict and violates the right to self-determination of the Palestinians. The report highlights how family, choice of home, access to health care, education, security, cultural and religious life, freedom of association and expression - are most severely compromised. Through systematic methodology, it documents internal displacement as a result of the construction of the Wall and its associated regime in eastern Jerusalem and analyzes the impact of displacement on the rights of the Palestinian people. The study focuses on Jerusalem, and the main problems which revolve around access to the capital.
The International Court of Justice in its 2004 advisory opinion on the legality of the construction of a wall in the occupied West Bank reached a similar conclusion: "...a significant number of Palestinians have already been compelled by the construction of the wall and its associated regime to depart from certain areas, a process that will continue as more of the wall is built, that construction […] is tending to alter the demographic composition of the [occupied Palestinian territories].” In January 2006, John Dugard, Special Rapporteur on human rights in the OPT warned of the “de-Palestinisation of Jerusalem” and the emergence of “a new wave of internally displaced”, or IDP’s.
The study recommends that the international community recognize the problem of internal displacement in the occupied Palestinian territories, develop an effective response to protect and assist and undertake further action, including boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel in order to end the illegal situation resulting from Israel's occupation and colonization of Palestinian land.
Press Conference by BADIL Resource Center and the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center/Norwegian Refugee Council
Elisabeth Rasmusson, NRC Resident Representative and Head of IDMC, Internal Displacement Monitoring Center/Norwegian Refugee Council
Ingrid Jaradat Gassner, Director, BADIL Resource Center
Nihad Boqai', Coordinator for Research, Information and Advocacy, BADIL Resource Center
Date and time:
Monday, 11 December, between 12:00-14:00.
Palestine Media Center
Al Quds-Nablus Street.
National Insurance Co. Bldg - Third Floor
Al Bireh/ Ramallah
Refreshments will be available.
Simultaneous translation will be available.
For more information:
Badil Resource Center:
Tel: +(972) or (970) (0)2-277-7086
Badil Resource Center is a Palestinian Non Governmental Organization based in Bethlehem and working for enforcement of the rights of displaced Palestinians and refugees under international law.
The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) set up in 1998 by the Norwegian Refugee Council, and based in Geneva, is a major international organization monitoring the internal displacement of populations in zones of conflict.
*The report was initially launched in late September, in Geneva, where the UN Human Rights Council and Prof. John Dugard attended. This event will be the launch for Palestine, and mark the release of the study in Arabic. The report is now available in Arabic & English on Badil's Website: www.badil.org.