Displaced Villages

Connect the People to the Land: Preservation of Rights of Refugees in the Palestinian Community

In 2017, ACAP with funding by HEKS, started this project that aims at providing Palestinian refugees with evidence to claim their rights, specifically the right to land and the right of return.

Following the various ways of dispossession through the 1948 war, and the different legislations that followed it, Palestinian citizens of Israel today own less than 4% of the land inside the Green Line. In recent years, Israeli planning authorities have digitized all planning work. However, in the process they have changed and shifted plot numbers and borders from their historical location to a new, different one. This has created a situation in which even if Palestinian land owners still have historical certificates of the land they own, they are unable to locate it in the existing systems of the planning authorities, and will eventually lose all rights to it.

ACAP recognises the importance of establishing a database that systematically integrates the historic plot numbers and locations with the new digitized systems. ACAP, through the GIS system, weekly produces new maps that adapt the old ones to how the land is now, also adding information on that land, namely if its use is agricultural, industrial or residential and to which municipality it belongs to. The information in the database is electronically available on ACAP’s website, therefore, can be used by Palestinian refugees located not only in Israel but also anywhere in the world and connect them to their land.

Once this information is established and accessible, ACAP will work with right holders, civil society partners and media as well as decision makers on how to best utilize the information in promoting the interest of the Palestinian refugees and their right to access their land.

Currently it is available in Arabic only - please click here