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A delegation of the Federal Agency for Civic Education - bpb - is hosted by KAS

On May 14, 2019, we spent the whole day with a group from the Federal Agency for Civic Education (bpb), brought them together with people from the Palestinian civil society and talked to them about our work and the situation in the Palestinian Territories. The packed program started with our office manager Marc Frings, who gave the group an early morning introduction in East Jerusalem, on the political and social situation in the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

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The delegation of the Federal Agency for Civic Education on a tour of Kufr Aqab in Eastjersualem
The delegation of the Federal Agency for Civic Education on a tour of Kufr Aqab in Eastjersualem

Afterwards the group met with Moien Odeh and went with him on a tour of the East Jerusalem district Kufr Aqab, where the group learned more about the special and complex situation in the city. Kufr Aqab, though a district of Jerusalem, lies behind the Israeli barrier, in the West Bank. The Palestinians who live here all have the so-called "blue Israeli ID". The Palestinian security forces of the PA, as well as city councils dealing with electricity, water supply or waste management, have no access to Kurf Aqab

The Israeli city administration of Jerusalem and the police are officially responsible here, but due to the location of the district, are not providing Kufr Aqab with any of the above mentioned services. During the tour with of Moin Odeh, the group learned what this particular situation in Kurf Aqaba and many other places around Jerusalem means for crime, urban planning and access to the necessary infrastructure. Moien Odeh is an expert in international humanitarian law, the rule of law and human rights. He has studied in the USA and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, focusing his research on the analysis of legal matters in annexed East Jerusalem and on urban developments and demolitions in the C-Areas of the West Bank.

At the Snowbar in Ramallah for lunch
At the Snowbar in Ramallah for lunch
At the KAS Office in Ramallah with the US-Palestinian entrepreneur Sam Bahour
At the KAS Office in Ramallah with the US-Palestinian entrepreneur Sam Bahour

After the tour the group continued to Ramallah where the they met Dr. Khalil Shikaki, the head of our partner PCPSR. Dr. Khalil Shikaki is a professor of political science and director of our long-time partner Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey, where he has conducted more than 200 surveys in the Palestinian Territories and Israel on a variety of issues. He lectured at several Palestinian and American universities and is still researching issues of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Palestinian state-building, demoscopy, democracy consolidation and transition, and the inner-Palestinian party landscape. With him, the participants were able to discuss the social and political trends of recent years.

 

The next interlocutor, Sam Bahour, talked about the current, extremely sensitive times in the region and brought the participants closer to life in the West Bank. Sam Bahour is a US-Palestinian businessman, journalist and blogger. He moved with his family from America to the West Bank in the 1990s and has since been involved in the economic development of the Palestinian Territories. He was one of the founders of the Palestine Telecommunication Company and chairman and co-founder of the Americans for a Vibrant Palestinian Economy. His talk focused on the impact of the Israeli occupation and the economic situation in the Palestinian Territories. He made it clear that the economic situation, which is currently very bad, cannot be improved by financial incentives, such as the peace plan of Jared Kushner plans, because it is the political situation that leaves no room for the economy to flourish.

The last item on the agenda was, in addition to a traditional Iftar dinner, the meeting with Zack Sabella, Aseel Baidoun and Inès Abdel Rezak, three very dedicated young Palestinians. The three spoke in an informal setting with the group, about their experiences and their lives in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

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Contact Person

Fee Brinkmann

Fee Brinkmann bild

Program Manager

Fee.Brinkmann@kas.de +972 2 240 4305 +972 2 240 4307

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