Documenting Land Ownership in the Palestinian Authority

by Michael R. Fischbach
published in MER202

The Protocol Concerning Civil Affairs, an annex to the Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip of September 1995, formalized the process by which Israeli authorities would transfer responsibility over land matters to the Palestinian Authority (PA). The first Oslo agreement had called for the establishment of a “Palestinian Land Authority” that could administer property matters in the areas under Palestinian self-rule. These matters include registration, surveying, and state and “absentee” lands. [1]

Please Subscribe to access the full contents of this article.

Commodifying Honor in Female Sexuality

Honor Killing in Palestine

by Suzanne Ruggi
published in MER206

Every year, hundreds of women and girls are murdered in the Middle East by male family members. The honor killing -- the execution of a female family member for perceived misuse of her sexuality -- is a thorny social and political issue. Palestinian activists campaigning for equality find it difficult to stop the killings altogether. Legitimacy for such murders stems from a complex code of honor ingrained in the consciousness of some sectors of Palestinian society.

Please Subscribe to access the full contents of this article.

Rediscovering Palestine

by Ussama Makdisi
published in MER211

Beshara Doumani, Rediscovering Palestine: Merchants and Peasants in Jabal Nablus, 1700-1900 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995)

Please Subscribe to access the full contents of this article.

Palestine at the UN: An Alternative Strategy

by Mouin Rabbani | published November 19, 2010

As Israeli-Palestinian negotiations lurch from crisis to crisis, Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders have been suggesting they may go to the United Nations to seek resolutions confirming the illegality of Israel’s settlements in the Occupied Territories and recognizing a reality of Palestinian statehood.

Economic Prison Zones

by Sam Bahour | published November 19, 2010

When a project mixes the feel-good words of jobs, economic development and Israeli-Palestinian cooperation, how can anyone complain? These things are some of what the international community has been promising to deliver through the construction of industrial free trade zones in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The free trade zone model has been promoted locally and globally by powerful third parties like the United States, France, Germany, Turkey and Japan for two decades, but none has much to show for the enormous efforts and amounts of money spent to bring these zones to life. Nonetheless, the project’s proponents expect the zones to constitute the economic foundation for a future Palestinian state. They hope that, by bolstering Palestine’s economy, the zones will make Palestinians less prone to social upheaval, less insistent on their national rights and more amenable to the status quo. The idea is that a peace agreement with Israel will ensue.

Economics of Palestinian Return Migration

by Ward Sayre , Jennifer Olmsted
published in MER212

Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza have faced a series of economic shocks since the Gulf war. Each shock alone would have been difficult to weather, but combined they have led to a considerable worsening of economic conditions. These shocks included the Gulf war, Israeli closures of the West Bank and Gaza, and the influx of diaspora Palestinians after the Oslo accords. While the first two clearly had negative consequences, the last is more complex. The repatriation of diaspora Palestinians has led to a reversal of the “brain drain,” and an influx of much needed capital. Yet the impact of this spending has been disappointing and widening economic inequality may have resulted.

Twenty-First Century Palestine

Toward a "Swiss Cheese" State?

by Roni Krouzman
published in MER213

Salim al-Shawamreh, his wife, Arabia and their six children live in the village of Anata, half of which is classified as Area B (under Palestinian municipal control) and half -- where Salim’s house sits -- as Area C (under full Israeli control). About a third of Anata’s 12,000 residents hold Jerusalem identity cards. The rest are considered West Bank residents, and thus cannot enter Jerusalem, including the section of Anata classified as part of Jerusalem.

Please Subscribe to access the full contents of this article.

"The Land without the People"

Contesting Jerusalem on the Eve of the Millennium

by Tom Abowd
published in MER213

On September 14, 1999, the day after Oslo’s Final Status negotiations opened, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak visited Ma’ale Adumim, the largest Jewish settlement on the West Bank. There he declared that this Jewish “neighborhood” would remain part of Israel’s Jerusalem. “Every house you build,” he promised residents, “every tree you plant here, will be Israel’s forever…”. [1] Final status negotiations represent the last stage of the Palestinian-Israeli “peace process” initiated six years ago. Long-deferred discussions about the future of Jerusalem, refugees, settlements and other issues are to be addressed by September 2000.

Please Subscribe to access the full contents of this article.

Faith, Money and the Millennium

A View from Palestine

by Naim Ateek
published in MER213

The solar eclipse on August 11, 1999 led some people to expect the end of the world. According to one report, three people committed suicide, sure the end was near. Others shut themselves in their homes expecting extraordinary events to usher in the eschaton (“end times”). Since a simple eclipse could cause such panic, despite our considerable scientific knowledge, one wonders what the end of a millennium might do to people, individually and collectively.

Please Subscribe to access the full contents of this article.

The WWW in Palestine

An Informational and Organizing Tool

by Adam Hanieh
published in MER213