From Palestine

Original publication: http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=415804

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian team responsible for preparing the United Nations initiative in September has been given an independent legal opinion that warns of risks involved with its plan to join the UN.

A number of Palestinian civil society organizations and networks have released a document that is the result of long discussions regarding possible Palestinian statehood in September 2011. This group of civil society organizations has met with progressive political parties in Palestine and also with the Palestinian human rights council to discuss the Palestinian Authority's (PA) planned request to the UN to ask many countries in Europe and the US to recognize Palestine as a nation.

A village study of Battir was conducted by Stop the Wall around December 1, 2010. Battir is a village in the West Bank of Palestine with a population of around 5,000 people. People are employed as farmers or employees working in small projects or businesses. From the 1940s to today, farmers and the community fight against confiscation of their lands by Israel. Battir's is a story of resistance through the court system.
 
Forested hilltops surround the land of Jabai. It is a quiet village that displays the beauty of a typical Palestinian village. Less than one thousand people live here and rely on farming to provide for their basic needs. Yet Israel’s policy of land confiscation and the nearby settlers of Beit Ein have disrupted what would be a serene place to call home. 
 
The sun shines on Nahalin’s jasmine bushes that welcome visitors to this village close to Bethlehem. With a population of 7,000, it is situated on a small fraction of its former 17,000 dunams, about 6,000 dunams. Since the Oslo Accords, only 1,000 dunams of Nahalin is located in Area B, the rest is under the harsh restrictions of Area C.
 

Mazin Qumsiyeh, coordinator of the popular committee against the apartheid wall and the settlements in Beit Sahour and professor at Bethlehem and Birzeit Universities, tells the story of his arrest:

Palestine is in the headlines of the Western mainstream media again. The preparations for the elections give everyone enough news to cover – or rather: they give the media enough news to cover up what is actually developing on the ground. But it is this current situation on the ground that will, if it is not stopped in time, more effectively shape the future for the Palestinian people than any electoral process ever could.

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