Memorandum submitted by Leonie Nimmo,
BA (Hons) Development Studies with Economicsspent three
weeks in the West Bank and Jerusalem in November 2002
The following submittal includes an assessment
of the effectiveness of aid in the occupied territories and the
problems related to administering it; the impact of Israeli controls
of the movement of goods and people entering and leaving the West
Bank and Gaza; the impact of the wall of separation, particularly
with regard to land, population movements and employment, and
the control that the network of settlements exercises over the
occupied Palestinian territories. Finally, food aid and rebuilding
people's capacity to access food is argued to be of top priority
for donors of development assistance. The entitlement approach
to poverty and famines is used to support this hypothesis.
An Analysis of the Effectiveness of Aid From UK
and EU Sources on Palestinian Poverty Levels, How it is Targeted
and What Could be Done to Prevent it from Being Wasted or Destroyed.
1. It is likely that the effect of UK and
EU aid on Palestinian poverty levels will be marginal due to the
numerous factors that are forcing people further and further into
poverty, for example, curfews, road closures, curtailment of productive
activity and the destruction of productive enterprises. These
policies have led to severe structural underdevelopment in the
Palestinian territories. It would seem logical that the deteriorating
economic situation of the Palestinian population can only be reversed
if these causes are tackled directly. Aid may help to alleviate
poverty in the short term and on a small scale, but the overall
poverty levels will continue to deteriorate if these conditions
continue and worsen. The UK and the EU have the capacity to exert
political pressure on the Israeli government in an attempt to
"treat the cause not the symptom", but the ability of
aid to tackle Palestinian poverty is limited.
2. The objectives of aid must be clearly
defined in order to render it effective or otherwise. Relief aid
needs to be differentiated from medium to long term development
assistance aimed at rebuilding the capacity for development. Due
to the continuation of Israeli policies that result in underdevelopment,
it is likely that the former will be more able to meet its objectives
than the latter.
3. Donor countries may not be in a position
to stop development assistance being wasted and destroyed as a
result of the direct or indirect interference of the occupying
forces. For example, the Japanese government agreed to pay for
the re-construction of the road between Jerusalem and Ramallah,
but the Israeli government refused planning permission to rebuild
it and it remains in a very poor condition.
There have been countless cases of destruction of infrastructureat
times funded through development assistanceincluding newly
constructed groundwater wells. Things are often reconstructed
only to be repeatedly destroyed, for example, the electricity
cables in and around Nablus.
There is very little donor countries can do to prevent such destruction,
apart from exerting political pressure on the Israeli government.
4. Humanitarian organisations working in
the West Bank and Gaza have found that a large amount of time
is spent negotiating with the occupying Israeli army and officials
within the Civil Administration. This involves huge resource expenditure
and often prolonged negotiations will lead nowhere. Again, little
can be done to prevent this from happeningit is not a recent
policy. It illustrates the fact that attempts made to advance
the development of the Palestinian economy and infrastructure
have been repeatedly blocked by the Israeli government and security
forces. This is as applicable to aid organisations as it is to
5. It is necessary for donor organisations
to fully understand the process of structural underdevelopment
that has occurred since 1967. Without adequate analysis of the
history of the occupation, coupled with a certain amount of prediction
about what is likely to happen to the Palestinian population in
the short, medium and long term, donor organisations cannot hope
to be effective. This is partly because they will have to recognise
the restrictions imposed by the occupying forces on their own
ability to operate, in the same way that the freedom of the Palestinian
population is heavily restricted. The ability of donor organisations
to assess what is needed, set realistic objectives and plan effectively
will depend on their understanding of life "in the field".
This will in turn determine the effectiveness of aid.
6. In order to target aid effectively it
is essential that local knowledge about what is needed and the
people most in need is sought, listened to and utilised. Due to
the extreme conditions experienced by the Palestinian population
for an extended amount of time there are already strong support
networks in place which should be accessed by donor organisations.
Palestine is a small area (and shrinking daily) which should mean
that this is not an insurmountable task. Donors should be aware
of the fact that Hamas is one of the few organisations providing
humanitarian assistance in Gaza and as such will be in the best
position to offer information about the neediest people. However,
political difficulties may arise if Israel is aware of donor organisations
working with individuals who have links with Hamas, regardless
of whether they are associated with its military wing or not.
7. There are a number of Palestinian and
international organisations working throughout the West Bank.
These Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) have extensive knowledge
of the local situations. Perhaps an effective way of delivering
aid would be through the most efficient and effective of these
organisations. For example, the Palestinian Environmental Non-Governmental
Organisations Network (PENGON) has been attempting to set up emergency
centres along the length of the first phase of the separation
wall and provide legal support for people displaced. It is desperately
short of funds. Assisting such an organisation would be of great
help to local Palestinian people.
8. In order to prevent the wastage of aid
by Palestinian recipients - if it can be got to themit
is necessary to ensure that it is received and distributed by
organizations or individuals who are trustworthy and trusted by
local people. Again, local knowledge will be important, but again,
dealings with local people who are in a position to offer help
may jeopardise the standing of aid donors in Israel. It may also
have implications for the personal safety of the Palestinians
9. Full transparency and accountability
should be aimed for, but restrictions on personal freedom and
the risks that the Palestinian people face as a result of carrying
out any activity whatsoever may mean that this is difficult.
10. It is essential that the result of an
inquiry into development assistance in the occupied Palestinian
territories includes the recognition that the situation in Palestine
is not in stasis. Conditions have deteriorated dramatically in
the last two years and look likely to continue to do so. The ability
of development assistance to have any impact at all will depend
entirely on the extent to which the Israeli government and military
allow donor organisations to operate and projects carried out
by them to be completed and/or remain standing. Attempts at development
instigated by Palestinian people are subject to the same conditions.
11. In an attempt to gage the quantity of
aid likely to be needed to avoid a humanitarian disaster in the
occupied Palestinian territories it is necessary to consider the
quantity of money that is being used by the Israeli state that
looks set to lead to such a disaster. Countering the effects of
the military occupation, the separation wall, the construction
of settlements and infrastructure being built to support them
is a huge task and one that will need a large amount of money.
An Assessment of the Impact on Palestinian Trade,
Employment and Economic Development of Customs Duties and Taxes,
and Controls on the Movement of Goods and People at Israeli Ports
and Airports and Points of Entry to the West Bank and Gaza.
12. Since 1967 the permit system established
by the Israeli government to control the movement of goods from
the Palestinian territories to Israel has had a crippling effect
on the Palestinian economy. This has affected trade, employment
and long term economic development. Israel has also exercised
control over goods moving into and out of neighbouring Arab nations.
These issues cannot be viewed in isolation from the lack of restrictions
of (often heavily subsidised) Israeli imports into the Palestinian
territories; the extensive controls exercised on the movement
of goods throughout the Palestinian territories; controls which
govern what agricultural products are allowed to be grown in the
West Bank and Gaza and regulations about the amount of land allowed
to be cultivated and irrigated in these areas.
13. Military Order No. 47, effective from
July 1967, prohibited the movement into or out of the West Bank
of plants, animals, or products made out of them (except for canned
goods) without a permit. Amendments to this order allowed authorities
to specify the route of transport and for stop and search. Penalties
for non-compliance included confiscation of the goods.
14. From September 1988, Military Order
No. 1252 replaced No. 47. This allowed the authorities to "broadly
regulate the shipment of all merchandise . . . all of the restrictions
in the previous military orders were retained under the authority
to specify in the permit any conditions of transport. Thus, variance
from the permit of cargo, route, or date of transportation (could)
be considered a violation. Potential penalties include(d) fines
and the possibility of a five-year prison sentence for non-compliance"
15. With curfews, roadblocks, checkpoints
and area closures a common feature of the occupation, the rigidity
of the permit system poses a huge problem for Palestinian farmers
and traders. The potential losses and risks involved increases
the cost of exporting goods substantially.
16. According to Drury and Winn, produce
is generally "only allowed into Israel if such permission
serves Israeli interests, such as filling gaps in Israeli domestic
production, while imports of products which would pose competition
to Israeli producers are not permitted".
Israeli exports to the occupied territories are subject to no
restrictions or taxes. Furthermore, the restrictions in place
about what and how much produce can be grown in the occupied territories
has at times necessitated Israeli imports, for example, of potatoes.
17. In May 1989, Israel prohibited all agricultural
exports from the West Bank into Israel. Palestine, as a largely
agricultural economy, suffered huge losses as a result, particularly
as agricultural development in the West Bank since 1967 was orientated
towards the Israeli market.
18. Restrictions are also placed on the
cross-border transportation of goods into Jordan. In 1992, Drury
and Winn wrote that "only a limited number of trucks, which
have been in use since before 1967, are allowed to make the trip.
The trucks are entirely stripped down so as to facilitate security
checks; each gas tank must have five glass panels. The truck driver
must return the same day or else he is forced to wait while the
truck is dismantled for inspection, then reassembled; this process
can take from three to five days . . . The driver must negotiate
a wide range of bureaucratic hurdles . . . For instance, he needs
an expensive series of permits from the Civil Administration to
cross the border . . . (he) must register his name in approximately
twenty different offices of the Civil Administration . . . It
takes up to three years to get initial approval for the driver,
subsequently, the whole process can take from one day to one week".
19. Bureaucratic procedures imposed by the
Jordanian government exacerbate this situation.
20. There are often delays at border crossings,
such as Allenby Bridge; possible border closures, and the real
possibility of being turned back at the border even if all the
paperwork and documentation is correct. This is particularly damaging
for perishable goods being transported in unrefrigerated trucks.
21. The inflated costs and risks involved
in exporting goods to Jordan are borne by the people transporting
the goods. Price increases that result from the difficulty of
exporting produce act effectively as an export tax - Palestinian
goods for sale in the markets in Jordan will not be priced competitively
with the local produce. This situation is further exacerbated
by the fact that the trucks must return the same day. Buyers in
the Jordanian markets assume that if produce is not sold directly
from trucks it is not fresh.
22. Inconsistent supply of Palestinian goods
in Jordan leads to further contractions in demand.
23. Israeli control over Palestinian exports
both to Israel and Jordan has severely restricted Palestinian
trade. Together with other policies relating to agriculture and
the movement of goods the result has been structural underdevelopment
of the Palestinian economy. The Palestinian economy has developed
only as a satellite of the Israeli economy; growth has been allowed
to take place within the boundaries set by Israel, and at times,
particularly during the first intifada and since September 2002,
not at all. Palestinians have been unable to pursue economic development
in areas where they have a comparative advantage, notably labour
intensive agricultural industries.
24. Since 1967, the trade balance between
Israel and the occupied territories has swung massively in favour
of Israel. In 1987 the trade surplus in Israel's favour reached
25. Employment has contracted as a direct
result of Israeli controls in many sectors: agricultural labour,
the trade of agricultural inputs, the trade of agricultural produce,
the transport industry etc. Subsequent economic contraction has
lead to further unemployment.
26. The economic effect of the control of
people between Israel and the occupied territories has been most
acutely felt with regard to Palestinian citizens working inside
Israel. During the initial years of the occupation, Israel allowed
almost free movement of people across the green line to make use
of the cheap casual labour force. This resulted in economic dependence
on wage remittances: prior to the first intifada, 30% of the West
Bank labour force was employed in Israel
and the wages bought back to the occupied territories accounted
for approximately 35% of GNP.
27. Such a large and accessible labour market
in Israel drew many farmers and their employees away from their
land in the occupied territories. The result was shortages of
labour in the West Bank and large tracts of previously cultivated
land left fallow.
This left land open to confiscation by Israel.
28. As far as I am aware, the Israeli government
no longer allows Palestinian citizens to work in Israel, and they
face substantial danger if they attempt to do so. In an address
given to a meeting in Manchester, UK, in 2002, an Israel army
refusenik described the moment he decided to refuse to serve in
the occupied territories: Having spent a number of months at a
Gaza checkpoint detaining Palestinians who attempted to cross
into Israel to work, the order came through from his superiors
to shoot these people instead. This major shift in Israeli policy
has obviously contributed massively to unemployment in the occupied
territories, which has in turn lead to a large contraction in
the Palestinian economy.
An Assessment of the Impact of the Wall of Separation
for Palestinian Farmers and for Employment, Movement of People
and Delivery of Humanitarian Assistance.
29. It is difficult to assess exactly the
magnitude of the impact of the separation wall on Palestinian
farmers because it is not known exactly where the wall will be
built and consequently how many farmers it will (directly) affect.
The plans initially released about the first phase of the wall,
stretching roughly 350 kilometres and annexing the most fertile
10% of the West Bank, have been subject to considerable changes.
The route of the wall has been changed to include Israeli settlements
on the Israeli side of the wall and further decrease the amount
of territory on the Palestinian side. According to a number of
human rights organisationsthe Palestinian Environmental
Non-Governmental Organisation Network (PENGON) and Gush Shalom
amongst othersthe construction of walls by the Israeli
government will not stop here. It looks almost certain that the
Israeli state aims to annex a significant section of the eastern
West Bank. Maps released by these organisations indicate that
the West Bank will be broken into two or more unconnected territories
(see fig 1). Ultimately it would seem likely that the entire land
of the West Bank will be fragmented into separate "Bantustans".
The Israeli military controlled zones that currently exist around
each Palestinian village, town and city will be physically enforced
by an extensive series of walls that will render each Palestinian
settlement accessible only through one or more military checkpoints.
30. Figure 1:
THE SEPARATION WALL: UNDER CONSTRUCTION AND
31. The farmers that will be affected by
the first phase of the first phase of the wall could be broken
into three categories: those whose land falls between the separation
wall and the green line; those whose village or town is near to
the site of the wall and the rest of the farmers in Palestine.
32. The majority of people living in the
area between the wall and the 1967 border with Israel are either
farmers or employed in agriculture, as it was a largely agricultural
area. Approximately fifteen villages are in the area that the
initial 115 kilometres of wall will annex.
It will be impossible for these farmers to continue to live in
this area. They are likely to lose their land; their crops; their
homes; access to any civil amenities that previously existed and
their income. They are likely to also lose all or most of their
livestock and the support systems that were previously in place
to tide people over times of financial hardship and emotional
difficulties, for example, extended family and informal networks
of social support. These farmers will be forced to become refugees.
It is as yet unclear what will happen to them and where they will
attempt to move to.
33. There are a number of possibilities
for these displaced people. They may move within the West Bank,
in which case they are likely to move to refugee camps in Palestinian
cities. This will lead to increased population density in what
are already over-crowded areas. Conditions are subsequently likely
to deteriorate. Access to food, water, housing and sanitary facilities
will become more difficult for the people already living there
and especially difficult for those moving there. If the occupying
army continues their policy of demolition of houses, shops, water
and sanitation facilities the problems will become further exacerbated.
Cities within the West Bank will become more like Gaza.
34. Farmers directly displaced by the wall
may also move to rural areas within the West Bank or to neighbouring
Arab countries. It will be very difficult for them to find new
sources of income in these places, particularly in their previous
occupation, as access to land for cultivation is restricted. If
they move outside of the Palestinian territories it is unclear
whether host nations will provide for them or attempt to deport
35. Farmers whose village or town is on
or near the construction site of the wall could be further categorised
according to how far away from the wall an individual has land
or property, and the shape of the wall around their town or village.
The wall might surround the town completely with one checkpoint
in and out, or it pass alongside their village cutting it off
from land and water sources. The scale of loss will vary according
to such factors and consequently the impact of the wall on different
groups of farmers will be different. A number of villages will
lose their only source of water.
The village of Jayyous, close to Qualquila, will lose 20,000 olive
trees, 50,000 citrus trees, 250 green houses, seven water sources
and two water reservoirs.
36. If a farmer suffers such a degree of
loss that he is unable to survive where he currently lives, and
the degree of resource loss in his community is such that support
mechanisms in place to care for people who can no longer provide
for themselves have broken down, he will have little option but
to move to somewhere he believes that his chances of survival
are greater. In this way demographic movements will result from
the construction of the wall even if an individual's home has
not fallen on the wrong side of the wall.
37. Living close to the wall will have a
massive impact on people's quality of life. In Jayyous, since
the wall began to be constructed, Israeli military presence has
increased substantially. Curfew is strictly imposed. There have
been a number of reports of collective punishment as a result
of demonstrations that have taken place against the wall.
38. The armed watch towers, military patrols,
cameras and electronic sensors that are to accompany the wall
will result in a climate of fear. If people, including farmers,
are not prepared to live in such a way there will be further population
39. Around Qualquila, the main urban centre
in the north west of the West Bank, the wall has already been
constructed. It completely encircles the city, with one check
point in and out. The agricultural land that supports the city
falls outside of the wall. Agricultural land that falls within
the city has been polluted. Farmers have consequently lost their
main source of income. According to recent reports there has
been a large exodus of people from the city.
40. As well as the farmers living close
to the wall itself, every Palestinian living in the West Bank
will be affected by the construction of the wall. There are a
number of ways that this impact will be felt. Changes in the prices
of agricultural produce are inevitable due to the importance of
the region as a source of agricultural products. A huge portion
of the West Bank's food came from this area. The supply of food
will decrease and consequently prices will rise.
41. It may be more difficult for farmers
throughout the West Bank to access agricultural inputs such as
grains and fertilisers if the markets for these things are fragmented
as a result of the construction of the wall.
42. Around half of the water in the West
Bank comes from the area where the initial phase of the wall is
being constructed. Water supplies throughout the West Bank will
therefore become scarcer. This is likely to mean that farmers
elsewhere are unable to irrigate their land and suffer crop failure
as a result.
43. The influx of displaced people into
the rest of the West Bank will result in a higher demand for land
which is likely to lead to a higher price for land, although the
complexity of the land marketor lack ofin the occupied
territories means that it is difficult to make assumptions based
on standard economic principles.
44. The impact of the separation wall on
employment will again be geographically differentiated. Some jobs
will be created in both destruction and construction, as it is
likely that some Palestinians will be employed to demolish existing
land, buildings and infrastructure, whilst others will be employed
in the construction of the wall itself. This is likely to be very
casual and insecure employment, and by its nature will be short
45. Agricultural employment in the area
between the wall and the 1967 border will be reduced dramatically.
The Israeli government has stated that farmers who own land in
this area will be allowed to access that land to farm it. However,
for most farmers this will mean walking for long distances to
reach gates in the wall, and, once through, walking to their land.
Whether they get through the gates or not will be the decision
of the military personnel on the gate. There will be some risk
associated with approaching the personnel. Labour hours will be
lost both in getting to the gate, waiting at the gate and then
getting to the land on the other side. It is as yet unclear how
many gates will be built and how difficult it will be to get through
them. The fact that Qualquila has one entrance gives some indication
that the gates will be few and far between.
46. Agricultural employment in villages
and towns along the length of the wall will also be dramatically
reduced. The pattern of construction is such that the wall typically
cuts off villages and towns from surrounding land. With less land
to cultivate there will be less agricultural employment.
47. Employment generated through the transportation
and trading of agricultural produce that originated from the area
of the wall will also be negatively affected. This will be felt
in towns such as Nablus, where a significant quantity of food
sold in the markets was grown in the area where the wall is being
48. Employment generated through the trading
and transportation of agricultural inputs for the area will be
49. A general curtailment of activity will
result in many other people losing their jobs, for example, taxi
drivers, shop owners and workers, emergency service employees,
doctor and teachers.
50. The impact of the wall on the movement
of people will be extensive. To move through the wallbetween
the West Bank and the 1967 borderwill be very difficult.
51. The extent to which a network of walls
is constructed will determine the extent to which the movement
of people throughout the West Bank is affected. Reports indicate
that this is likely to be the case. Around Qualquila, the main
wall has been complemented by a series of walls (see fig 2).
It will become very, very difficult for Palestinians and international
organisations working with Palestinians to move around. It is
already difficult for Palestinians to move around the West Bank.
Trade, employment and family and social networks will all be negatively
52. It will also become much more difficult
to deliver humanitarian assistance into the occupied territories.
The ability of donor organisations to do so will be dependent
on whether the military commanders at points of entry into the
West Bank will allow it. They will consequently have control over
where aid is able to get. The Israeli occupying forces will direct
aid as they chose. Large amounts of resources will be lost waiting
at entry points, negotiating with soldiers and going a much further
distance as a result of the wall/s.
An assessment of the control that the network
of settlements in the occupied territories have over the basic
conditions for the development of the Palestinian economy: agricultural
land, water, movement of persons and goods, environmental impact
53. The network of settlements in the occupied
Palestinian territories have a considerable amount of direct control
and also a degree of indirect control over the basic conditions
of the development of the Palestinian economy. It is important
to recognise that not only are many of the settlements heavily
armed, and "civilians" within those settlements fully
prepared to use those arms, but there are also military bases,
police stations and private security stations based in those settlements.
Settlements are therefore a crucial element of the mechanisms
of control used by the Israeli occupying forces in Palestine.
Furthermore, the settlers themselves have a certain degree of
control over the actions of the security forces. Soldiers, police,
military police and private security are likely to act in accordance
with the wishes of the settlers.
54. Settlements exercise control over not
only the agricultural land on which they are basedand this
area is likely to steadily increase through expropriationbut
a large radius of land around those settlements. For example,
Palestinians from the village of Roujeeb on the outskirts of Nablus
own a large area of olive groves some distance from the village
itself. Their groves are closer to the settlement of Itamar than
to Roujeeb. When they attempt to access their land they are stopped
about four or five kilometres away from Itamar by soldiers. Sometimes
the soldiers will tell them that they are not allowed to go any
closer. Other times they will just shoot.
During negotiations with soldiers Palestinians are often told
that the areas around settlements are military controlled zones
and they must therefore leave. The correct paperwork to support
such a claim is rarely produced.
55. It would be very difficult to establish
exactly how much agricultural land in the West Bank is rendered
"out of bounds" in this way. A tiny fraction of the
total number of olive trees in the West Bank were harvested last
year, and this policy was instrumental in achieving this outcome.
Furthermore, an old Ottoman land law re-invented by Israel states
that if land is not harvested for two years it can be appropriated
by the state. This means that if people are not able to access
their land for prolonged amounts of time they risk it being confiscated.
56. Large areas of agricultural land throughout
the West Bank are being destroyed for the construction of settler
roads. Palestinians are not able to travel on these roads. They
are given no compensation for the land that is taken in order
to build them. It seems that these roads are likely to have fences
or walls built alongside them, which will widen the area of land
that is destroyed.
Security zones are also enforced along roads so that even more
land is inaccessible for Palestinians.
57. The land directly controlled by settlements,
the land on which they are constructed, tends to be on the top
of hills. Most of the hills surrounding Nablus have a settlement
on top. This is strategically important territory. Once established,
settlements will expand without any actual purchase of land taking
place. In an assessment of land control by settlers in the occupied
territories, the potential for such control must also be addressed,
if territory can be taken in such a way.
58. Large areas of Palestinian land, particularly
olive groves, are burned by the inhabitants of settlements. For
example, the olive groves belonging to the village of Quafur Qualil,
on the outskirts of Nablus.
In this way control over land is exercised by settlers through
rendering it useless.
59. Settlements have had a devastating impact
on Palestinian's ability to access clean water. Settlements often
build deep groundwater wells (three to five hundred meters deep)
which results in the nearby shallower wells belonging to the Palestinians
(generally not more than one hundred meters deep) drying up or
salinating. This renders land belonging to Palestinian farmers
either useless for agriculture or cultivable only for saline-resistant
crops. Palestinians have been unable to obtain permits to deepen
their wells to compensate for the loss of water.
60. There have been reports of the waste
water from settlements polluting the fresh water sources belonging
to Palestinian villages.
This not only leads to restrictions in access to clean water,
but increased likelihood of the spread of disease.
61. The movement of goods and people throughout
the occupied territories is restricted heavily by the army. The
settlements themselves exert an influence over the army and their
actions with regard to Palestinians. Often the two will work in
conjunction. It is not unusual to see a settler at a military
checkpoint, checking the papers of the Palestinians attempting
to pass through.
It is equally not unusual to hear of settlers firing weapons at
people that they do not believe should be in a certain area at
a certain time, regardless of whether the army are in the area
or not. This happened repeatedly during the olive harvest and
is also a frequent occurrence around more volatile settlements.
Settlements are paramilitary communities and their occupants often
erratic in their behaviour. Much of the control exercised by them
is through a culture of fear: they are dangerous.
62. Perhaps the most negative environmental
impact of settlements is due to the destruction of land in order
to build them and the roads that connect them. As already noted,
land is also destroyed by settlers for reasons not related to
63. Control of settlements over land that
is not used or utilised by them means that it is difficult for
Palestinians to tend to this land. Whilst olive groves do not
require irrigation, the land upon which they are planted does
require some care, such as weeding and the construction and maintenance
of terraces. The restricted ability of Palestinians to access
land in order to tend to it has a comparatively limited environmental
impact, nevertheless it is significant for the farmers themselves.
64. Waste from the settlements has a negative
environmental impact, particularly as it is often not managed
with maintenance of the local environment in mind. In fact, it
has been used at times in order to deliberately pollute the Palestinian
areas. This applies to human waste as well as waste generated
by construction, and litter more generally. Litter generated by
artillery used by the settlers is never picked up, except by Palestinian
An assessment of the priorities for UK aid through
bilateral and multilateral channels to strengthen the infrastructure
of Palestinian development
65. Food aid and rebuilding people's capacity
to access food will become a priority for donors of development
assistance in the occupied Palestinian territories. The entitlement
approach to the study of poverty and famines will here be used
to provide a framework of analysis of the food security situation
in Palestine. This is the dominant paradigm used by aid agencies
and donors who work in the field of famine prediction, prevention
and relief. Food entitlement, ie "the ability of people to
command food through the legal means available in the society"
(Sen, 1981, p 45) is taken to be an essential prerequisite for
economic and social development. In order to strengthen the infrastructure
of Palestinian development, food security will have to be top
of the agenda for donor organisations. The degree to which people's
food entitlements have broken down and the many ways in which
this has occurred will here be analysed.
66. According to the entitlement model,
an individual's ability to access food depends on their endowmentsthe
commodities they own, for example, land, labour power and their
possessionsand the possible commodities that they are entitled
to access as a result of their initial endowments. This is dependent
on their production and trade possibilities and the social security
and taxation systems that operate within their society. Direct
entitlement failures occur if one is unable to continue to grow
enough food for one's own consumption. Trade entitlement failures
occur if one can obtain less food through the process of exchanging
one's endowments for food. For example, an individual who sells
their labour to earn an income in order to buy food will suffer
an endowment loss and subsequent entitlement failure if they become
unemployed and are unable to secure an alternative source of income
with which to purchase food, such as state benefits. In this way,
changes in individuals' endowments will affect their food entitlements.
Changes in relative prices, the labour market and the supply and
demand of commodities are examples of things that will affect
the trade entitlements of different groups within a society. The
legal, political, economic and social characteristics of a society,
and the position of an individual within that society, will affect
their exchange entitlements.
67. Since 1967 the Israeli occupation of
the West Bank and Gaza has had a severe impact on the endowments
and entitlement possibilities for the Palestinian population.
The absence of legal protection for Palestinians has further exacerbated
68. Large scale land confiscations; the
destruction of crops; the pollution of land by settlements and
Israeli toxic waste and difficulties in accessing land due to
the dangers resulting from living under occupation and the spread
of settlements have led to extensive endowment loss and subsequent
entitlement failures in the occupied territories.
69. Direct entitlement failures have occurred
when people have been unable to grow food for their own consumption
on their own land. Most arable land in Palestine is cultivated
for sale in internal or external markets, hence direct entitlement
failures represent a minor fraction of total entitlement loss.
The "victory gardens" scheme was a small scale, self
help project which aimed to bring more land into cultivation in
smallholder plots, particularly in urban areas. Some of this produce
was to be sold and some consumed directly. Israeli response to
this scheme was to shut it down, through the destruction of the
plots and intimidation, deportation or imprisonment of the people
involved in organising them.
In this instance direct entitlement failure has not occurred as
people did not previously gain their access to food in this way,
but the ability of the Palestinian population to gain food entitlements
directly has been restricted, and a potential mechanism of development
70. Decreases in the aggregate supply of
food as a result of loss of land and loss of access to land leads
to increases in the price of food, which affects the food entitlements
of the entire Palestinian population. If the price of food goes
up, less food can be bought for the same amount of money. The
construction of the separation wall will have a potentially devastating
effect on the supply and price of food and consequently Palestinian
people's food entitlements.
71. The rigid system of permits which has
controlled the movement of goods within and out of the occupied
territories has led to the loss of produce, which is an endowment
loss for the people who owned the produce.
72. Severely restricted access to water
has led to direct entitlement failures, endowment losses and trade
73. The impact of the occupation on the
labour market has been extensive, particularly since April 2001,
when most Palestinian towns were placed under 24-hour curfew.
A curfew effectively imposed brings unemployment to 100%. The
impact on food entitlements cannot be overestimated: for many
Palestinians, particularly those living in refugee camps, their
labour is the only endowment that they own. If they cannot use
this to access food they may face starvation.
74. Checkpoints, roadblocks and area closures
also affect the ability of the Palestinian population to access
food through the sale of their labour power. It is not unusual
for Palestinians to wait for an entire day at a checkpoint.
75. Restriction in trade as a result of
checkpoints leads to loss of income for producers, traders and
transporters, which again may lead to entitlement failures.
76. Increased levels of unemployment as
a result of restricted access to land, Israeli labour markets
and the controls over the movement of goods within the occupied
territories will also affect the entitlement possibilities of
large sections of the population.
77. The restriction of exports has led to
further unemployment both within the farming community and the
sectors that support it such as transport and the trade in inputs
78. The industrial sector has been targeted
by the occupying Israeli forces: factories and shops have been
destroyed. Furthermore, permission to rebuild this economic infrastructure
is rarely granted, preventing the re-creation of jobs in both
the construction industry and the original forms of employment.
79. Potential employment and economic development
resulting from an agro-industrial sector has been severely restricted.
Business ventures are required to obtain permits from the Civil
Administration in order to operate. The permit requirement has
been an "almost impermeable barrier to many potentially viable
Aid organisations and donor countries have also found that projects
they are willing to fund are not permitted by Israel. Businesses
willing to invest in the occupied territories have been put off
by the constraints of the permit system and the insecurity of
their investments - unendorsed projects are likely to be destroyed
even on as small a scale as animal enclosures, and those that
have been licensed are not immune from the destructive capabilities
of the Israeli military.
80. Case study: Roujeeb.
The village of Roujeeb lies about three kilometres away from Nablus
in the West Bank. Before September 2000, the two major sources
of income for the village were the olive harvest and the sale
of dairy produce in Nablus. Since September 2000, the occupants
of the village have been unable to harvest the vast majority of
their olive trees due to the dangers imposed by soldiers and settlers.
It has also been exceptionally difficult for them to transport
dairy produce into Nablus, as the road between Roujeeb and Nablus
has been acquired by the Israeli military and Palestinians are
no longer permitted to travel along it. Animal feed and other
agricultural inputs are difficult to attain, as both the village
and Nablus itself have been under curfew for most of the last
two and a half years. The third main source of income for the
village is employment in Nablus, but the military occupation has
again rendered this both difficult and dangerous. Roujeeb was
once a prosperous place: the houses are spacious and people educated.
In November 2002, some of the inhabitants had begun to sell off
their possessions in order to purchase food.
81. Studies have shown that when large sectors
of a population sell off their possessions in order to buy food,
a famine is not far off unless there is substantial outside intervention.
82. It seems highly likely that emergency
food aid will become a priority for donors of development assistance
operating in the occupied territories. There are already reports
of people dying of starvation and increasing numbers of people
showing signs of malnutrition. Emergency food aid is usually distributed
through multinational channelsorganisations with experience
in dealing with such events.
83. Knowledge of people's food entitlements
is essential for the prediction, prevention and relief of famines.
Research in this field should therefore be a top priority for
donors of development assistance now.
84. In the longer term, the priority of
aid donors will be helping people to find sustainable access to
food themselves. Unless there is knowledge of the ways in which
food entitlements have broken down in the first place, this task
will be not be completed effectively.
85. Aid donors also need to prioritise relief
work along the length of the separation wall as communities here
have suffered extensive endowment losses and entitlement failures.
It is unclear how much long term developmental work should be
done here as the population movement that the wall precipitates
may be complete.
86. Working with children and community
groups in the refugee camps in the Palestinian cities should be
a priority for aid donors. This should entail short term relief
work and long term capacity building work.
87. Resources should be channelled through
organisations such as the Red Crescent, whose employees work under
extreme conditions to provide an absolutely crucial emergency
Abed, G "The Economic Viability of a
Palestinian State," 19(2) Journal of Palestine Studies
8 (Winter 1990).
Drury, R T, and Winn, R C "Ploughshares
and Swords: The Economics of Occupation in the West Bank"
Massachusetts: Beacon Press, 1992.
Palestinian Environmental Non-Governmental Organisations
Network The Apartheid Wall Report No 1 November 2002.
Rouhana, K "The Other Intifada: The
Crucial Economic War Heats Up" 250 (1) The Nation, January
Senn, A K "Poverty and Famines: An Essay
on Entitlements and Deprivation" Oxford: University Press,
118 Interview with an American humanitarian worker
in Jerusalem, 3 November 2002. Back
Interview with a Palestinian construction engineer in Roujeeb,
6 November 2002. Back
Drury and Winn, 1992, p 35. Back
Drury and Winn, 1992, p 36. Back
Interview with Department of Agriculture officers, I Matar and
S Hillele, Jenin office (20 August 1989). Cited in Drury and Winn,
1992, p 34. Back
1992, p 37. Back
Drury and Winn, 1992, p 38. Back
Kate Rouhana, "The Other Intifada: The Crucial Economic War
Heats Up" The Nation, 1 January 1990, p 1. Cited in
Drury and Winn, 1992, p 17. Back
Rouhana. Cited in Drury and Winn, 1992, p 18. Back
George Abed, "The Economic Viability of a Palestinian State,"
19(2) Journal of Palestine Studies 8 (Winter 1990). Cited
in Drury and Winn, 1992, p 18. The number of workers does not
include those that work illegally within the green line. Back
Drury and Winn, 1992, p 18. Back
The Apartheid Wall Report No 1, PENGON, November 2002. Back
The Apartheid Wall Report No 1, PENGON, November 2002. Back
Letter of appeal for international assistance written by the villagers
of Jayyous in October 2002. Back
Interviews conducted in Jayyous, 14-16 November 2002. Back
Interview with a British humanitarian aid worker, Manchester,
UK, May 2003. Back
Figure 2 not printed. See Ev 200. Back
Interviews conducted in the territory, 6 November 2002. Back
Witnessed on 6 and 15 November 2002. Back
Interview with Israeli soldier, close to Itamar settlement, 6
November 2002. Back
Witnessed on 11 November 2002. Back
Drury and Winn, 1992, p 61. Back
Eye witness statement from British humanitarian aid worker in
interview conducted in Jayyous, 14 November 2002. Back
Witnessed on 4 November 2002 at a checkpoint of the outskirts
of Ramallah. Back
Address given by British humanitarian aid worker in Manchester,
June 2003. Back
Drury and Winn, 1992, p 41. Back
Drury and Winn, 1992, p 44. Back
This information was gathered during a series of interviews in
Roujeeb between 5 and 8 November 2002. Back