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Palestinians in the Face of the Israeli Planning System

Telluride House
Event organized by Telluride House

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Palestinians in the Face of the Israeli Planning System ||
By Lama Shehadeh (MRP 19’)

This talk will discuss the Israeli planning system as a means of control, destruction, and oppression against the Palestinian people. It will address this issue by analyzing the growth of Palestinian localities within Israel, arguing that the planning strategies are destroying the Palestinians’ living spaces, physically and socially.

The talk will shed a light on the unspoken Palestinians inside the state of Israel, where colonial control strategies are implemented against them under the formal pretext of planning regulations.

Out of the 12.7 million Palestinians, inside historic Palestine and exiled around the globe, 1.7 million are now citizens of the Israeli state after they “survived” the Zionist ethnic cleansing of 1948 – The Nakba. Those Palestinian citizens constitute 20.8% of the population in Israel, and the vast majority of them live in segregated localities (Palestinians only) on only 2.5% of the lands within Israel.

The Israeli government destroyed these spaces, physically, by demolishing “unlicensed” houses and “unrecognized” localities. But it also destroyed these spaces, metaphorically, by lands’ expropriation, the building of new Jewish settlements, surrounding the localities with infrastructures, shrinking their lands, and total neglect. In the shade of those strategies, the Palestinian towns and villages grew informally, densely, and under the threat of displacement and destruction. In this talk, I’ll explain how this abnormal growth became another method of destruction.

The Palestinians today are fighting for their fundamental right to housing, and are drawn by the government into a legal whirlpool that prevents them from pursuing any thriving future development.

Given that, what the community, without a government or resources, can still do?