History of Cities – Heritage
Right to Housing
The current Constitution does not mention the right to housing.
A first draft Palestinian constitution will emerge in 1948 , but it will soon be set aside on the Jordanian and Egyptian pressure. After several attempts, it was not until 2002 that Palestine has its own constitution, with a preamble of thanking several Arab friends and relatives.
The association “Lawyers Without Borders” (ASF) reports that since the Israeli occupation and annexation of East Jerusalem in 1967 until today, the families of Palestinian refugees have been the target of forced evictions (expropriation or travel). This situation is contrary to the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits any action on the part of the occupying force to deport or transfer parts of its own population into the occupied territories. But as regards East Jerusalem, the Israeli government has taken such action. Israel does not respect its obligations under international law and is an integral part of the settlement policy in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT). (2)
Another aspect highlighted by the report focuses on how the evictions take place. Thus, the Israeli police who attends evictions and demolitions of homes belonging to Palestinians is present disproportionately blocking roads and making use of a force quite useless to expel the families affected. “When they [the IDF] came to evict us, it was as if we were in a war zone,” says a Palestinian woman in the delegation. “It was four o’clock in the morning. Immediately, settlers have occupied our house, using our personal things.” Result : the deportees are homeless and do not receive any aid from the Israeli occupation authorities. (2)
The number of Palestinian in the Occupied Palestinian Territory is about 3 million ! The scale of evictions is also incredible : only in 2013, 604 structures including a third of homes were destroyed by the Israeli army ! Or 804 Palestinians were driven from their homes in one year and at least 1,600 others have been affected by the demolitions ! Israeli settlers destroy Palestinian property still enjoy virtual impunity. In Cisjordanies, the army demolished several homes and water tanks. Tents have been dismantled several times, including in villages completely destroyed. (1)
This has “naturally” led people to flee these areas to seek refuge elsewhere. This is why there are many Palestinian refugee camps. In Lebanon, for example, which are well known to Mar Elias, or Rashidiyyeh or Shatila camps. In 2013, 200 to 400 000 is the estimated number of refugees only in Palestine. (3)
- Housing and Land Rights Violation Database in each country (Housing and Land Network – HIC): http://hlrn.org/welcome_violation.php#.VD-IVCi7_vQ
- Zero Evictions Campaign (International Alliance of Inhabitants): http://www.habitants.org/zero_evictions_campaign
1858 (Ottoman Empire) until 1948, the land law prevailing in Palestine is masha’a. This is a community land scheme with periodic redistribution of land among the peasants. This system has disappeared because they simply refused to consider this process. (4) If the property is a collective operation, exploitation of the land is individual and each peasant family operates his land. It seems that the Land Code is partly based on large land issues. Indeed, the peasants pay the price, when landowners sell entire villages to Jews national funds and peasant communities living there for centuries will be evicted by new owners. (5)
According to some social movements, the peace process focuses so much attention, that the violation of human rights and land grabbing can proceed with discretion.
An obvious example is the Jordan Valley. According to Oxfam association (2012), Israel has already captured 86% of the land while 6% are still usable by the Palestinians. This is only possible through a major policy of settling colonists and in violation of international rights. Various recommendations for different parts are at the end of this document. (6)
- Data sets on agricultural land grabbing in the world (GRAIN): https://www.grain.org/bulletin_board/entries/4429-new-data-sets-on-land-grabbing
- The Online Public Database on Land Deals – Global Observatory (Land Matrix): http://landmatrix.org/en/
- Old People
- Young People
Some Interesting Practices
SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC ASPECTS
According to official data published by the Israeli Central Bank and cited by Haaretz, Palestinians in Israel represent 21.4% of the population but among Israeli citizens who obtain mortgage credit only 2% belong to the Arab minority.
This is not only true in areas where this population is massively concentrated, but also in cities where Jewish and Arab populations coexist, such as Jerusalem, Haifa or Ramle, where the Arab population totals 24% but where it does not obtain 4% of housing loans.
Source: Charleroi-Palestine Platform, November 2017
Quality of Housing
Informal Housing / Slum / Homeless
ROLE OF PUBLIC AUTHORITIES
Bibliography & Sitography
Housing Rights of Palestinians in east Jerusalem are not being respected Website Avocats Sans Frontières, 2011
Kamel Doraï, Urbanisation et ségragation des camps de réfugiés palestiniens au Liban, Website Migrinter, 2013
Scott Atran, Le Masha’a et la question foncière en Palestine, 1858-1948, in Annales Economies, Sociétés, Civilisations, 1987, pp.1361-1389. Télécharger website Persée
“Le Code foncier de 1858” website : http://www.israel-palestine.ch/documents/codefoncier1858.pdf
Oxfam France, “Au bord du gouffre – Les colonies israéliennes et leur impact sur les Palestinenien de la Vallée du Jourdain”, doc info 160, 2012.