The program is developed in the following geographical areas:
1) In different areas of the Middle East.
|Occupied Palestinian Territory: Gaza, the West Bank, East Jerusalem
Occupied Syrian Golan
|In the regions of: Haifa, Nazaret, Um Elfahem, Naqab.
And in the municipalities of: Haifa, Nazaret, Um Elfahem, Beer Sheeva, Kafr Qara, Raineh, the Negev desert, Nahaf, Kabul, Sullam, Neen, Jisr El Zarqa, Araba, Sakhnin, Acre, Turan, Ein Mahela and Deir Hanna, among others.
|Amman, Irbid, campo de refugiados de Al Baqaa, Ramtha, Salt, Fuhais, Zarqa, Ma- dak y Khaldya
||Palestinian refugee camps and Beirut
2) In Spain and Europe (awareness and advocacy)
The Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT) are made up of Palestinian-inhabited areas occupied by the Israeli State after the Six Day War in 1967 and comprise two sub-regions: The Gaza Strip and the West Bank - which covers an area of 5,800 km2. In terms of topography, it is made up of a central mountainous area and a desert area, which runs through the Jordan Valley. Its Administration is divided into 11 provinces.
Until 1993 all of the West Bank, and Gaza, were under military occupation from the State of Israel. Since the Madrid Peace Conference, in 1991, a series of international agreements have materialized which have resulted in certain areas of the Occupied Palestinian Territories being transferred to the Administration of the recently created Palestinian National Authority.
As a result, the territory has been divided into three administrative areas:
Until this time East Jerusalem has remained outside the negotiation process; therefore, the city is still under Israeli occupation, with access for the rest of the West Bank Palestinian population strictly forbidden.
- Zone A, where the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) is fully responsible for the civil administration and security issues.
- Zone B, which only has civil responsibilities and, therefore, the Israeli military presence remains.
- Zone C, where the PNA has no legal authority.
Currently, Israel has military control of 82% of the West Bank territory and in zone A carries out aerial attacks and military operations by land, sea or air at will. This includes Gaza, where Israeli settlers were officially withdrawn in the summer of 2005.
The total population of the OPTs is 3,699,767 inhabitants
The total population of the OPTs is 3,699,767 inhabitants. the Gaza Strip has 1,363,513 (36%) inhabitants and the West Bank 2,336,254 (64%), approximately 250,000 of which live in East Jerusalem. Some 52% of the West Bank population lives in rural areas, while in the Gaza Strip the percentage is much lower (5.3%). The demographic growth in Palestine is among the highest in the world - 5.44% in the West Bank - which means the population pyramid is extremely young (47% of the population is under 14).
Some 44% of those living in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs) are refugees (31% and 68% of the West Bank and Gaza Strip populations respectively) and were driven out of their homeland after the 1948 War and the subsequent 1967 occupation, but remained in places that today belong to the State of Israel and in which still form their identity.
According to data from the UNRWA, there are 4,448,429 refugees, and apart from those already mentioned in Gaza and the West Bank, 1,858,362 are in Jordan, 442,363 in Syria and 408,438 in Lebanon. Their living conditions vary according to which country they live in ‚Äď in Jordan they have access to residency status and are considered citizens, in Syria they cannot vote and hold positions in public office without a passport, and in Lebanon they must live in refugee camps in appalling conditions.
According to data from the UNDP, the number of Israeli settlers in Palestinian Territories fluctuates between 480 and 550 thousand, of which almost 200,000 live in West Jerusalem settlements and the surrounding areas.
In July 2002 Israel began building the 8-metre tall Separation Barrier and Annexation. It crosses into the West Bank to annex the Israeli settlement blocks and road networks and creates a Palestinian enclave in the annexed areas, separating them from urban areas and areas of influence. With a total length thought to be 750 km (the borders between Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel were less than 200 km in 1967) the Barrier is claimed to be a temporary solution to Israeli security by the Israeli Government and has brought a new reality to the area which is yet another illegal method of taking away Palestinian territory.
The situation is East Jerusalem has been deteriorating in recent years and has been particularly bad in the last few months. Since 1967, the State of Israel has demolished over 2,500 Palestinian houses in East Jerusalem, confiscated around 6,000 Palestinian residency cards and has limited construction in Palestinian areas. This is while it allows and promotes the construction of settlements for immigrants who can prove they are Jewish in the same area
At the moment, around one million and a half Palestinians live in Israel. The Arab-Palestinian citizens in Israel mainly live in the cities and Arab villages of Galilee and the Negev triangle. They suffer massive discrimination in every aspect at the hands of the State of Israel, for instance in education, social investment, infrastructures, etc. Following the 2nd Intifada, the situation of the Palestinian people in Israel (the Palestinians of 48) has visibly deteriorated, with 70,000 people currently living in unrecognized towns and villages.
Occupied Syrian Golan
|The Occupied Syrian Golan Heights is a plateau situated in the border with Israel, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria with a land mass 1,800 km2, of which 1,200km2 has been occupied by Israel since the Six Day War (1967). The United Nations, through its Resolution 242, considers it to be "occupied territory", whereas Israel considers it an area "in dispute". Although formally it has not been annexed, it has been under Israeli rule since 1981. Prior to the occupation, Syria and Palestine were made up of 130,000 people who lived in 130 villages and 61 rural homesteads. After the war, 133 towns were destroyed and nearly the whole population was exiled.
Since the beginning of the occupation the Israeli Authorities have implemented a policy of control over the majority of Golan's natural resources, principally land and water. The refugee population was unable to, and still is unable to, return to its land, with whole families still broken up.
Lebanon and Jordan
Even though Palestinians make up 10 per cent of the Lebanon population, they are not allowed to apply for either visas or residency cards nor acquire property, take advantage of the country's fiscal advantages or enjoy civil rights. The situation is particularly dire for Palestinians without official papers (non-ID), for not being registered with the URNWA or Lebanese authorities means they are faced with a legal void and have no social protection or economic assistance.
There are three categories of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon:
1) Refugees recognized by the Lebanese authorities and registered by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UNRWA. These people were listed at the beginning of the fifties.
2) Those not listed despite being in the country. Their situation was resolved by the Decree of the Ministry of the Interior in 1969.
3) The third group is made up of those Palestinians obligated to flee to Lebanon following the 1967 War and also includes those deported by Israel and freed ex-prisoners. This group does not have identity documents or residency, and they cannot move around the country freely as they are trapped in the same place.
In Jordan there are currently 2,600,000 Palestinian inhabitants, of which 1,880,740 appear in the UNWRA lists. It is here that the 10 official camps are situated - 338,000 registered refugees are accommodated (17% of the 1,951,603 refugees registered with the UNRWA in Jordan).
Save for those from Gaza, Jordan is the only Arabic country that has granted full citizenship to the refugees of 48.
In 1948 four of the ten camps on the banks of the river Jordan were established following the Arab-Israeli War and six more after the Arab-Israeli War in 1967. Moreover, there are three areas in Amman, Zarqa and Madaba that are considered camps by the Government of Jordan and unofficial camps by the UNRWA.
The population of the ten camps, plus the three other "unofficial" ones and the refugees living in the surrounding areas of the camps, live in similar socio-economic conditions and together make up approximately 65% of the Palestinian refugees in Jordan.