The Israeli Civil Administration is planning to demolish humanitarian projects worth more than 200000 Euro in the West Bank. Wind and solar energy installations which have been installed in villages in the south Hebron hills by the Israeli organisation Comet-ME and by the Frankfurt based Aid and human rights organisation medico international are affected. The joint projects are financed by medico’s own moneys as well as by the German Foreign Office. medico and its partner will undertake all that is necessary to prevent a demolition, including appealing against the demolition plan, if necessary up to the Israeli High Court of Justice.
Some 1500 Palestinians in the south Hebron hills are dependent on alternative, decentralized regenerative energy supply, because the Israeli authorities prevent them and other Palestinians living in the so-called C areas from being connected to conventional electricity grids. This is contrary to International Humanitarian Law. “The Israelis authorities subsidize the neighbouring Israeli settlements around the corner, but they do not permit the Palestinians in the C areas to build kindergartens or primary health care clinics”, says Tsafrir Cohen, medico’s Middle East coordinator, “this policy of de-development keeps them marginalized and deeply impoverished”.
The Israeli authorities aim with this policy of targeted de-development to force the Palestinian population in the C areas, some 150000 people into the densely populated urban enclaves of Ramallah or Hebron. Yet, without the rural areas between these enclaves Palestinians will not experience development, nor will there be a viable Palestinian state. Instead, the largest part of the West Bank, the C areas, have become a space in which – alongside ethno-religious definitions – two different sets of laws exist side by side for two populations.
This is what medico and its Israeli and Palestinian partners address by providing humanitarian aid and furthermore by protecting the political, social, and economical rights. By doing so we seek to find ways to overcome an almost perfect system of in- and exclusion.