Area C Villages

Under the Oslo Accords, the West Bank was divided into Areas A, B, and C. Area A includes all of the Palestinian cities, and the Palestinian Authority (PA) has responsibility for both civil and security matters; Area B includes most of the large Palestinian towns, and the PA has authority over civil matters only; in Area C, Israel has authority for both security and civil matters. Area C constitutes 60% of the West Bank, with 150,000 Palestinians living there.

Israel conducts two separate legal systems in the West Bank – one for Israelis and the other for Palestinians. One manifestation of this discriminatory legal regime is the two systems of planning that operate in the West Bank, which distinguish between inhabitants based on their nationality – one for the settlers, and a different one for Palestinians. Many Palestinian towns and villages in Area C are not recognized by Israel and have not benefited from even minimal town planning, even though many have been rooted in this land for generations.

Through public advocacy, litigation, and education, ACRI opposes the discriminatory practices utilized by the State within Area C. These include constant home demolitions, an inequitable distribution of resources and access to building permits and the legal division between civil and military authorities. ACRI seeks to promote the recognition of the villages currently unrecognized, and the inclusion of Area C inhabitants in planning sessions. As mandated by international humanitarian law, it is incumbent upon Israel – as an occupying power – not only to recognize the towns that existed in Area C prior to the occupation, but to afford the inhabitants the opportunity to plan and build to accommodate their natural increase, traditional lifestyle, and desire to improve their living conditions.

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