you are here: The Divide >> Chapter XX: "You live us no room to live"
chapter list ¬

Segregation zone
ARIJ, 2003.
Download [3.23 Mb jpeg file]

The Palestinian Environmental NGOs Network, PENGON is a non-profit, non-governmental organization whose role is to serve the Palestinian environment by acting as a coordinating body for the Palestinian environmental organizations located in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (West Bank and Gaza Strip). PENGON was founded two years ago, following the start of the second Intifada, due to the increased demands and responsibilities of Palestinian environmental organizations to defend the Palestinian environment.

PENGON is formed of 21 member organizations whose mandates cover a wide and interconnected range of environmental issues such as land defense, agriculture, water, rural issues, sustainable development, cultural heritage, health and sanitation, biodiversity, human rights and community participation.

PENGON has, according to its by-laws, a General Assembly consisting of all of its members, as well as a Coordinating Committee of seven of those members, who are elected every two years by the General Assembly.

PENGON is the only environmental network for Palestinian environmental organizations in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Fundamental to PENGON’s work is to ensure that the Palestinian environment is dealt with within the context of the Occupation and thereby calling on environmental efforts to work hand-in-hand with social justice causes while integrating social, economic and cultural rights as a part of environmental protection and defense.
PENGON gives special attention to international awareness, advocacy and mobilization, along with focusing on south-south cooperation, to support its efforts.

PENGON Member Organizations are:
Al-Ard Society for Environmental Awareness and Protection; Applied Research Institute--Jerusalem (ARIJ); Center for Agricultural Services (TCAS); Center for Development in Primary Health Care (CDPHC) - Al Quds University; Institute of Water Studies, Birzeit University; Development and Environment Association—Baladna Cultural Center; Land Research Center (LRC); LAW-The Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment; The Local Committee for the Protection of the Environment, Nablus; MA'AN Development Center; Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC); Palestinian Association for Cultural Exchange (PACE); Palestinian Hydrology Group (PHG); Roads and Environmental Safety Center (RESC); The Society for Environmental Protection, Jenin; Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC); Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees (UPMRC); Water and Environment Department - Ramallah Municipality; Water and Soil Environmental Research Unit (WSERU), Bethlehem University; Water and Environmental Studies Center (WESC), Najah University; Wildlife Palestine Society (WLPS)

“You leave us no room to grow, you leave us no room to live. The only thing left the Palestinians is to live in huge pens and to work in industrial zones that will no doubt be built in the settlements, near the openings to these pens. You want us to live like slaves. It won't work. If you had built the fence along the Green Line, there would be no problem. This way perhaps you'll have quiet for four-five years, but you will create only hatred. Instead of 20% Hamas, you'll have 60%.”

Jamal Juma, PENGON / Yedioth Ahronoth, May 23, 2003.

Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem (ARIJ)

Founded in 1990, the Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem (ARIJ) is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting sustainable development in the occupied Palestinian territories and the self-reliance of the Palestinian people through greater control over their natural resources.

The Institute works specifically to augment the local stock of scientific and technical knowledge and to introduce and devise more efficient methods of resource utilization and conservation, improved practices, and appropriate technology.

ARIJ plays an active role in the local community as an advocate for greater co-operation among local institutions, international and non-governmental organizations. In its capacity as a national research institute, it frequently provides current data and research necessary to the formulation of position papers and policy strategies on such issues as land and water resources. Moreover, through its work with donor institutions and regional and international experts, ARIJ promotes an environment conducive to the introduction of new initiatives and ideas and thus serves as a facilitator in the co-ordination of multilateral activities.

Although initially conceived to confront issues facing the agricultural community, ARIJ has since broadened its agenda to include a wide spectrum of environmental concerns. Early research priorities focused on cultivation in marginal lands, livestock production, agro-industries and marketing, and water management and utilization. As water issues gained precedence, the Water Research Unit and the Rain fed Farming Unit were created to better identify research goals and implement project objectives.

In 1994 the Environmental Research Unit was established to conduct an overview of environmental conditions in the West Bank and Gaza and subsequently to assist in the formulation of strategy options, policy guidelines, and national standards and legislation. A precursor to these objectives is the development of a comprehensive Environmental Information System which will serve the region as a foundation for in depth research.

In 1994 also, the GIS and Land use Unit was created with the aim of using up-to-date data and mapping technology for analysis planning and modeling of sustainable development in Palestine.

In the shadow of the ongoing massive wave of development and investment activities in Palestine, it is feared that the basic terms of sustainable development and conservation of the environment and its resources will be disregarded. To address this concern, ARIJ created the Environmental Resource Planning and Assessment (ERPA) Unit on 1 January 1996.

Additionally, ARIJ has instituted a Resource Center, which makes scientific data, literature, and periodicals on a wide range of subjects available to the local community. The Institute also maintains a data analysis center, laboratory, weather station, and a hydroponics unit. A garden allows the Institute to cultivate and compare new varieties before introducing them to the local community.

ARIJ receives technical and financial support from a variety of international governmental and non-governmental organizations, which grant funding on a project basis.

Moreover, ARIJ has signed an affiliation agreement with Al-Quds University in 1996. The President of ALQUDS university, Dr. Sari Nusseibeh and the President of the board of trustees of the Applied Research Institute-Jerusalem (ARIJ), Mr. Daoud Istanbuli signed an agreement that creates a role model for institutional cooperation aimed at promoting the research capabilities in Palestine to meet the growing needs of the Palestinian society for research and technology as essential ingredients in comprehensive development.

Chronology of Israeli actions related to the Segregation Zone, May 2002 – March 2003
ARIJ, 2003.
Download [96.2 kb pdf file]

Chronology of Israeli actions related to the Segregation Zone, April-November 2003
ARIJ, 2003.
Download [38.3 kb pdf file]

Speaking Through Walls
Download [1.4 Mb pdf file]

Palestinian Initiative for the Promotion of Global Dialogue and Democracy / MIFTAH

MIFTAH is a non-governmental non-partisan Jerusalem-based institution dedicated to fostering democracy and good governance within the Palestinian Society in a manner that promotes Public Accountability and Transparency while maintaining the free flow of information and ideas. Established in December 1998, MIFTAH's underlying premise is to serve as a Palestinian platform for international reconciliation and cooperation allowing for a global dialogue that is guided by the principles of democracy, human rights, gender equity, and participatory governance.

Over the years, MIFTAH has developed a credible position towards development in Palestine and in the region and has formulated long and short-term policies and strategies to deal with pressing issues. It continuously seeks to create an effective framework for information and communication by implementing a proactive plan for policy presentation as well as reliable dissemination of information. It strives at re-shaping public perceptions and stereotypes, thereby opposing the long legacy of exclusion, disinformation, and distortion.

MIFTAH has forged lasting relationships and partnerships through networking with expatriate communities and like-minded organizations locally, regionally, and internationally.


Al-Haq was established in 1979 by a group of Palestinian lawyers. During the first years it was largely limited in scope to analyzing the legal status of and legal structures imposed over the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). Al-Haq produced some of the first studies ever written using humanitarian law to analyze a situation of occupation. Later on the organization began taking on special projects on issues such as women’s and labor rights. During the Intifada, Al-Haq developed into the primary source of information on human rights and humanitarian law violations in the OPT.

After the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, Al-Haq began to move forward in work with the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), monitoring the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) elections in 1996, analyzing legislation, and providing human rights training to PNA officials while at the same time monitoring PNA’s human rights performance.

In 1998, Al-Haq began to rebuild and focused most of its attention on legal research. Work following up on draft PLC legislation and Israeli human rights violations moved forward. Towards the end of 1999 Al-Haq was granted special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC) and again began working on an international level. During 2002 renewed emphasis was also placed on returning to those activities that were Al-Haq’s traditional strengths such as legal research and documentation. Al-Haq’s consultative status with ECOSOC was also activated, through preparing oral and written interventions, and parallel reports and attendance meetings and conferences related to human rights organized by the UN. 2002 was also the year of the so called “Operation Defensive Shield”, during which Al-Haq’s office in Ramallah was taken over by Israeli soldiers and one of its employees, Yasser al-Disi, was arrested and kept in administrative detention for three months, without charge or trial.

In 2004, a year particularly focused on advocacy, Al-Haq launched an international campaign on collective punishment, considered both as human rights violations and as war crimes. Al-Haq has been the West Bank Affiliate of the International Commission of Jurists - Geneva for over 20 years and it is a member of the International Federation of Human Rights, Habitat International Coalition and the World Organization Against Torture. Al-Haq is also part of the Executive Committee of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network and of the Steering Committee of the Palestinian Non-Governmental Organizations’ Network.

The Health, Development, Information and Policy Institute (HDIP)

HDIP is an independent non-profit Palestinian organization. HDIP is devoted to policy research and planning regarding the Palestinian health care system in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The focus of the organization is to enhance coordination and cooperation between the different health care providers in Palestine, particularly between Palestinian NGOs and the Palestinian Authority. HDIP is devoted to advocating appropriate health and development policies, and to building a democratic Palestinian civil society. In addition, HDIP provides information services, evaluations, and training in the areas of health and development policy, and system management.

HDIP Calendar for 2004
Photo: Miklos Tamasi / OSA, 2004.

Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group (PHRMG)

The Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group was founded in December 1996 in response to the deteriorating state of democracy and human rights under the newly established Palestinian Authority. The group was founded by a diverse group of well-established Palestinians, including Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) members, newspaper editors, journalists, a union leader, veteran human rights activists and religious leaders. The political composition of its founders is diverse - including members of many Palestinian organizations and institutions - thereby ensuring the non-partisan character of the organization.

The PHRMG documents human rights violations committed against Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, regardless of who is responsible. In effect, the PHRMG has dedicated much of its work to the monitoring of human rights violations committed by the Palestinian Authority. The PHRMG has instituted a number of projects to deal with the ongoing human rights violations. The projects include monitoring unit, freedom of expression and democracy center, settlers watch hotline and legal unit, etc… Our future projects in the coming two years include peace building development, peace building and conflict resolution monitoring, reforms to the Palestinian judicial system, democracy center, public education and out reach unit.

Summary of Palestinian fatalities since September 2000

Joint Israeli-Palestinian Public Opinion Poll
Download [27 kb doc file]

The bombings do not come from a vacuum. The first thing that has to be addressed is the issue of the occupation itself. Occupations are very dangerous. They generate aberrant and abnormal behavior. And we do have this sort of bizarre exchange of violence, where the military in Israel seems to think it has a free hand to inflict any kind of pain and punishment and violence on a captive civilian population, and the Palestinians have to become, you know, perfect Christians – turn the other cheek or die quietly. This is not happening.

Hanan Ashrawi / PBS Online NewsHour, February 10, 2004.