Hello and welcome to the Palestine Monitor Factbook 2012. Much like the first, written for 2009, this Factbook aims to address the confusion and misrepresentation of the facts surrounding the conflict in Israeli and international media.
Facts are important. If the international community is to pursue a just and peaceful future in Israel and Palestine, they must first have a clear understanding of what exists on the ground today. Our Factbooks give policy makers and civil society actors an easy to use reference guide on Israel’s ongoing occupation and the impact it has on Palestinian lives.
While much of the realities discussed in this publication are the same as those outlined in the first Factbook, the dynamic nature of the occupation, born of its sensitivities to local and geopolitical events, means that much has also changed.
The 2012 Factbook attempts to be more comprehensive in its coverage of the occupation than the first, but is still admittedly lacking in a number of areas. A further caveat, because it is so large, and because so many of the different policies overlap in significant ways (e.g. the Wall and Movement Restrictions), the categorisation and general flow of the book may seem awkward. Rather than try to produce a book that should be read start to finish, the author has attempted to marry this with the format of a reference guide that will be more useful to actors in the field.
This Factbook details a critical period in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and broader Middle East. As change and revolution have swept through the region in the 'Arab Spring’, the 'Palestinian Winter’ of occupation nears its 45th anniversary. In terms of moving towards a viable Two-State solution between Israelis and Palestinians, very little has changed since the writing of the last Factbook. And just as I had warned then, the most dangerous of situations in this conflict is that of 'relative calm’.
The more intermingled that Palestinians and Israelis become through the occupation, the more impossible it will be to forge the peace sought by the international community. The currently unpopular idea of a One-State solution is looking more and more inevitable by the day. While many argue that this will eventually bring about the only real just and lasting peace to the conflict, they often fail to acknowledge the efforts that are and will be made by Israel to prevent this future Utopia from emerging. As Palestinians and Israelis become more and more inseparable geographically, the policies of Israel are becoming more Apartheid in nature, ensuring that huge gulfs exist between the two at nearlyevery level.
The following publication highlights many of these policies, but the nature of the occupation and the 'relative calm’ that has persisted in the oPt will ensure that another Factbook will soon need writing.
to download Palestine Monitor FactBook 2012
Dr Mustafa Barghouthi
President of the Palestinian Medical Relief Society (PMRS)