About Us

Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine
UK architects, planners and other construction industry professionals campaigning for a just peace in Israel/Palestine.


PRESS RELEASE: "This Week in Palestine" offices thrashed by IDF


On Sunday, 22 June, at around 4:00 AM, Israeli Occupation Forces broke into the

company premises of Turbo Computers and Software Co. Ltd., a graphic design firm

established in 1985 and publisher of This Week in Palestine magazine, and into the

premises of its sister company, Jeel Publishing Co. Ltd., publisher of the Arabic youth

magazine Filistin Ashabab. Seven computers including the servers were confiscated,

severely hampering the companies' operating capacity.


As private-sector companies, we deplore such an action which not only clearly violates

our personal rights, including freedom of expression, but also jeopardizes the livelihood of

our employees. During our 28-year history, we have had no affiliation with any political

faction. Our work includes graphic design and print-management services offered to a

large number of institutions, both local and international, including the Office of the

President. This Week in Palestine is a 15-year-old nonpolitical cultural publication that

promotes and documents Palestine, and Filistin Ashabab is a platform for Palestinian

youth to express and develop their writing skills as well as their photography and artistic



We call upon the international community, particularly the US and the EU authorities that

have been trying to encourage the development of the Palestinian private sector, to voice

its opinion on these barbaric actions and recognize the obstacles that we face as a people

under military occupation. Our full economic potential will never be realized if actions like

this continue – actions that threaten our investments and, more importantly, the livelihood

of our people.

The attack on This Week in Palestine and Filistin Ashabab is a message to our readers

that they might be deprived of access to these two independent Palestinian publications.

But we want to assure them that we will continue to publish both magazines, despite the

hardships, in order to continue to play our part in building the independent, secular, and

pluralistic society that we all dream of.

We question the uncivilized manner in which we were violated and our computers

confiscated. With today's technology anyone with adequate resources can easily tap into

any system and have total access to its files. As totally transparent companies, we have

nothing to hide and we pose no security threat to anyone.

We demand the immediate restoration of our computers, and we hold the Israeli

authorities responsible for the integrity of the data that we have collected and worked on

for over two decades. Finally, we reserve the right to claim reparation for damages

incurred, and to consider legal action, both locally and internationally.

Sani Paul Meo

General Manager


Letter from Sani Meo   30 June 2014         Ramallah, Palestine

“WHAT? Have they gone mad?” Was practically the unanimous reaction to the raid of the Israeli army into our offices on the 22nd of June at 4:00 AM and confiscating practically all the computers in the company. Incidentally, it was my reaction too when I found our through a phone call from the office building doorman last Sunday morning; our day off. Please read the attached press release that we distributed a few days after the incident.

I was a fool to think that sitting in downtown Ramallah, having lead a non-violent life-style approach, both personally and in my business, being liberal and secular, would make me beyond the reach of direct contact, much less a confrontation, with the Israeli army. What happened on the 22nd of June was a clear reminder that the occupation of Palestine is real and the open prison we are living in is exactly that; a prison.

The fact that you are reading this message which announces a new edition of This Week in Palestine, the July 2014 edition, is a message in itself. A good friend of mine just posted something wise Robert Frost had said about summing up everything he had learned from life in three words; it goes on.

The current (threatening) July 2014 issue, the “Where to Go” issue, takes our readers on trips to various Palestinian destinations to explore their beauty and charm. We’ve included lots of images to make the edition more attractive. I do hope you will enjoy reading it.

To remind you, “Social Media in Palestine” is our theme for the upcoming August 2014 issue, and that of September 2014 issue is “An Eye on Science.. As always, if you feel you can contribute to any of the mentioned issues, by all means, do contact us. Finally, the theme of our upcoming October 2014 issue is “Habitat in Palestine.

Before ending I would like to pay tribute to our exiting content editor, Dr. Riyam Kafri-AbuLaban who truly did a marvelous job throughout being part of the editorial team, and has added tremendous value to each edition she has worked on. Actually, Riyam will not leave us totally; she will still be responsible for our new permanent section TWIP’s Kitchen since cooking is something she loves to do apart from teaching Organic Chemistry! Equally, I would like to welcome Ahmad Damen, a bright young director of the two documentaries Forbidden Pilgrimageand The Red Stone, a musician, and now the new TWIP’s content editor.

With the scorching heat, today is the first day of the holy month of Ramadan. I wish all a merciful, and a peaceful month. Ramadan is a reminder to us all to search our souls to become better human beings in being kind, and thoughtful to others whom we have done them wrong by being unjust.

Thank you all again for your continued support.


Sani P. Meo / GM


The Last Word – July 2014; Gentlemanly Manners



Press release: Urgent representations against destruction of Bedouin village

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press release 
Date of issue: 12 June 2014
For immediate release 
PSC calls for UK intervention against Israel's destruction of Al Arakib village 
Today, Thursday 12 June 2014, Palestine Solidarity Campaign called for the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, to intervene to stop Israel's demolition of Al Arakib village.
PSC called for the Foreign Secretary "to urgently meet with the
Israeli Ambassador to the UK and for the UK Embassy in Israel to meet their counterparts to express the UK’s shock and displeasure at Israel’s demolition of Al Arakib villag
Demolition of minaretDemolition of the minaret of the Mosque

This was following news from the Negev Forum for Coexistence, alerting the international community to Israel's demolitions in Al Arakib this morning. According to the Negev Forum, Israeli Forces began demolishing water tanks and structures around the cemetery.

The village of Al Arakib has already been destroyed more than 60 times since July 2010, and each time the villagers have rebuilt their homes, determined to stay on their ancestral lands, despite the physical and emotional hardships.
The remaining residents had already received eviction orders stating that by 13th July they must leave the village or be evicted by force. The orders include the dead and people who have left the village.
The residents of Al Arakib lay claims to the lands on which their village is built and from which they were first evicted after the establishment of the
Israeli state in the fifties. Their land claims are still before the courts and have yet to be decided.
During the last four years the non-violent resistance of Al Arakib has become a symbol of the Arab-Bedouin struggle against Israeli government plans to forcibly concentrate its Bedouin citizens in government “planned” townships and to demolish 35 so-called unrecognised villages, whose population numbers in the thousands.
Sarah Colborne, Director of Palestine Solidarity Campaign said: 
"We are calling on the Foreign Secretary to immediately
tell the Israeli Ambassador that the demolitions must be stopped. It is not enough for the UK Government to simply express its displeasure. The government must impose sanctions upon Israel for its violations of international law.
Only action will work."
notes for the editor  

  1. PSC is the biggest membership organisation dedicated to campaigning for Palestine in Britain <>
  2. PSC is supporting a petition for the villagers of Al Arakib <>

contact us 
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The Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) aims to raise public awareness about the Israeli occupation and the struggle of the Palestinian people. PSC seeks to apply pressure on both the British and Israeli governments into bring their policies in line with international law. PSC is an independent, non-governmental and non-party political organisation with members from communities across the UK. Join PSC today!


Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Tel: 020 7700 6192
Fax: 020 7609 7779



The Prawer Law is being implemented even before it has been legislated

Minister Yair Shamir has received the Prawer Law – What can we expect?

Early in December it seemed that justice had prevailed, as Minister Beni Begin announced that he has recommended to the Prime Minister to stop the Prawer Law, and the Prime Minister agreed. However, only four days later the Knesset continued to deliberate the law, as if nothing had happened. Now we know that the Law is still on the table, and that the Minister that has been assigned to forward it is Yair Shamir, a member in Liberman's party, the right-winged partners of our right-winged government.
The Prawer law, officially named "The Law for the Settlement of the Bedouin", in fact does not have any settlement component in it. Of this long and convoluted law, the first 2/3rds are about how to bring to an end the process of land claims the government started in the early 1970s and had never continued: the law in effect will erase most of the land claims presented by the Bedouin, while allowing some meager compensation for few of the Bedouin land owners. The last part of the Prawer law is a mechanism for village evacuation and destruction that bypasses the regular legal system and the judicial system. All in all – a horrific law.
It is no wonder that such a law has brought about massive and intense resistance – and that the police is being used to crush this resistance. The violence of the police in the demonstration of November 30th has brought the conflicts in the Negev to a new level of aggression. After the demonstration the police continued to arrest youngsters, trying to instill fear in the community, hoping this will stop the demonstrations.
Moreover, even though the law has not yet completed the process of legislation, the government has already created the manpower to implement the law. New police forces – commando trained, new police cars – that can easily traverse the desert terrain and are armored, a bureaucracy of over 60 managers and employees (all Jewish), along with scores of freelance lawyers and "mediators", have been employed in the two offices created to implement the law: "The Authority for the Settlement of the Bedouin", and "The Implementation Unit for the Prawer Law". Both headed by ex-security high ranking officers – as the Bedouin are not seen as civil issue, but rather as a security issue.
The law is being implemented even before it has been legislated: weekly home demolitions all around the Negev. The village of Im-El-Hiran, which is one of the first slotted for erasure, is being "measured" in preparation of the building of the Jewish settlement to replace the existing Bedouin village. The new and combat trained police forces are itching for action, and this can be seen in every opportunity that they receive. Even if the Prawer law is halted in the Knesset, this massive apparatus already has a life of its own…
The government map for the Bedouin settlement was presented in the Knesset. It completely ignores the existence of several Bedouin villages – not surprisingly  it ignores Im el Hiran. It also ignores the Wadi Naam – with its 10,000 residents. Then it goes on to claim that the lands of another 10-15 villages will be "returned to the government". These lands have never been owned by the government, as they are the lands claimed by the Bedouin in the 1970's and that the government never processed. These 15 villages are to be erased, and their inhabitants are to be settled in urban neighborhoods of other villages and towns. The remaining villages (about 15) are to be concentrated on a fraction of the land available to them today – in effect – to become neighborhoods of the close by towns. The Bedouin villages now are sitting on less than 3% of the Negev lands, and this is very minimal land for an agrarian community. After the implementation of this map – they will be allowed to live on only 1% of the Negev lands – with no access to the land so necessary for the income and wellbeing of the community. The "cleared out" 2% of Negev (desert) lands are to remain clear – clean of Bedouins.
The RCUV together with Bimkom (planners for human rights) and Sidreh (Bedouin women's empowerment organization) and headed by Prof. Oren Yiftahel are at the final stages of creating a Bedouin settlement master plan. This plan was created in the manner the government should have created its plans for the Bedouin: basing it on the community needs as well as the principals of planning accepted in Israel. Furthermore, if follows the principles of equality. This master plan shows that there is no need to remove, erase or concentrate any of the Bedouin villages. We call upon Minister Shamir and the Government of Israel to adopt this master plan and to implement policies that are based on equality and human dignity, and that will begin the process of healing from the 60 years of harmful policies towards its Bedouin citizens.

You can help! Contact Minister Shamir and call on him to discontinue the Prawer Law and to begin a just and inclusive process that will bring about prosperity for the Bedouin community and the entire Negev people. Write to him: fax - +972-3-9485835 <tel:%2B972-3-9485835>  email:  or on facebook:

Join us in our demonstration tomorrow in front of the "Authority for the Settlement of the Bedouin" in Beer Sheva at 10:00am.

For more information: Atia el-Asam, RCUV chair. 050-570-2064; Yeela Raanan, RCUV: 054-748-7005 or



 Come to visit Ramiya, learn about the place and show solidarity

To coordinate your visit please call in advance Mr. Salah Sawa’ed 054-5975958

·        Join Ramiya’s Friends on Facebook

The Friends of Ramiya group on Facebook was established to help organize solidarity activities.

·        Share information

You may publish and share this publication, as well as invitations to different activities.

This publication is available also in Arabic and Hebrew.

·        Send letters

You can start by sending the attached protest letter (or anything you like to write) to the Israel Lands Authority, which is responsible for the racist policy against Ramiya’s residents, through its site:

And to the Mayor of Karmiel, Adi Eldar:

Please send a copy to us too (the Friend of Ramiya group)



Gaza to run out of drinking water by 2016: Please sign the petition!

Gaza to run out of drinking water by 2016
Gaza to run out of drinking water by 2016

Gaza’s population of 1.6 million Palestinians are without clean drinking water. The only source of water they can access—the underground water aquifer—is being over-utilized and is now highly polluted with sea water and sewage intrusion. The UN warns that unless a solution is found to provide Gaza with safe and affordable water, Gaza’s aquifer will become unusable by 2016, and irreversibly damaged by 2020.[1]

Today, only 5% of the water Gazans extract from the Coastal aquifer is now safe to drink. Most families in Gaza are forced to buy drinking water from private companies at high cost, with some paying as much as a third of their income on water.

The portion of the Coastal aquifer running beneath Gaza represents only a small percentage of the total freshwater resources available to Israelis and Palestinians. Israel continues to exploit 90% of the available freshwater for exclusive Israeli use – particularly the underground Mountain aquifer in the occupied West Bank – while Palestinians have access to less than 10%. It does so in violation of international water law, which calls for these resources to be shared “equitably and reasonably” between Palestinians and Israelis.

There is a solution, and it starts with the implementation of Palestinian water rights. If Palestinians have access to their rightful share of the available water resources, and if Israel lifts its blockade over the Gaza Strip, which restricts water imports as well as the entry of materials and goods needed to upgrade and repair its deteriorating water infrastructure, many of Gaza’s water problems would be solved.

[1] United Nations Country Team in the oPt, Gaza in 2020: A liveable place?, August 2012, retrievable at:

Sent by Avaaz on behalf of Jovita's petition

The water is running out in Gaza: Humanitarian catastrophe looms as territory’s only aquifer fails

By Reuters/The Independent
June 30, 2013

The Gaza Strip, a tiny wedge of land jammed between Israel, Egypt and the Mediterranean sea, is heading inexorably into a water crisis that the United Nations says could make the Palestinian enclave uninhabitable in just a few years.

With 90 to 95 per cent of the territory’s only aquifer contaminated by sewage, chemicals and seawater, neighbourhood desalination facilities and their public taps are a lifesaver for some of Gaza’s 1.6 million residents. But these small-scale projects provide water for only about 20 per cent of the population, forcing many more residents in the impoverished territory to buy bottled water at a premium. The UN estimates that more than 80 per cent of Gazans buy their drinking water. “Families are paying as much as a third of their household income for water,” said June Kunugi, a special representative of the UN children’s fund Unicef.

The Gaza Strip, governed by the Islamist group Hamas and in a permanent state of tension with Israel, is not the only place in the Middle East facing water woes. A Nasa study of satellite data released this year showed that between 2003 and 2009 the region lost 144 cubic kilometres of stored freshwater – equivalent to the amount in the Dead Sea – making a bad situation much worse.

But the situation in Gaza is particularly acute, with the UN warning that its sole aquifer might be unusable by 2016, with the damage potentially irreversible by 2020. Between 5 and 10 per cent only of the aquifer’s water is safe to drink, but even this can mix with poor-quality water during distribution, making it good only for washing.

“The tap water from the municipality is not fit to drink, and my husband is a kidney patient,” said Sahar Moussa, a mother of three, who lives in a cramped, ramshackle house in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, near the Egyptian border. She spends 45 shekels (£8.20) each month – a large sum for most Palestinians in the area – to buy filtered water that she stores in a 500L plastic tank.

Further complicating the issue is Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip, which activists say has prevented the import of materials needed for repairs on water and waste facilities. Israel says the blockade is necessary to prevent arms from reaching Hamas, which is opposed to the existence of the Jewish state.

With no streams or rivers to speak of, Gaza has historically relied almost exclusively on its coastal aquifer, which receives some 50 to 60 million cubic metres of refill each year thanks to rainfall and run-off from the Hebron hills to the east. But the needs of Gaza’s rapidly growing population, as well as those of the nearby Israeli farmers, means an estimated 160 million cubic metres of water is drawn from the compromised aquifer each year. As the levels sink, seawater seeps in from the nearby Mediterranean. This saline pollution is made worse by untreated waste, with 90,000 cubic metres of raw sewage allowed to flow into the shallow sea waters each day from Gaza, according to UN data.

Even wit
h the aquifer, regular running tap water is a luxury unknown to many Gazans. People living across the territory say that during the summer months water might spurt out of their taps every other day, and the pressure is often so low that those living on upper floors might see just a trickle.

Children queue up for a mouthful of fresh water at a communal tap in Gaza. Photo from Break the Silence Media and Art project.

Many families have opted to drill private wells drawing from water deep underground. Authorisation is required but rigid restrictions mean that most households dig their wells in secret. Hired labourers erect large plastic sheets to try to hide their work from prying neighbours. “As you can see, this is like a crime scene,” said a 45-year-old father of six, who gave his name as Abu Mohammed. A clothes merchant from Gaza city, he paid his clandestine, seven-strong crew £2,300 to drill a well and came across water at a depth of 48 metres. “We begin the work after sunset and… cover the sound of digging with music,” he said. A senior Israeli security official estimates that as many as 6,000 wells have been sunk in Gaza, many without authorisation.

While Israel shares the polluted aquifer, which stretches all the way to Caesarea, about 37 miles north of Tel Aviv, the problem is less acute than in Gaza which is downstream. In addition, Israel can access water from the Sea of Galilee and the mountain aquifer that also spans the West Bank.

As Gaza borders the sea, the obvious answer is desalination. Gaza already hosts 18 small plants, one treating seawater, the others water from brackish wells – most of them supplied by Unicef and Oxfam.

The Palestinian Water Authority has started work on two new seawater desalination plants and is planning a third, larger facility, which is designed to produce 55 million cubic metres of water a year. But with funding for the $450m (£295m) project still uncertain, construction is not due to start until 2017. By that time, cash-strapped Gaza may not have enough electricity available to power the energy-intensive plants. The UN estimates that Gaza needs an additional 100 megawatts of production capacity even before the big water facility is built.

Israel is trying to drum up aid for Gaza, the senior security official said, alarmed at the prospect of a looming water catastrophe and possible humanitarian crisis on its doorstep. “We have talked to everyone we know in the international community because 1.4 million people will be without water in a few years,” he said, asking not to be named because of the issue’s sensitivity. He said Israel, a leader in the desalination industry, was helping to train a few Gazans in the latest water technology, which the Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) confirmed.

Rebhi El Sheikh, deputy chairman of the PWA, has called on international donors to help fund energy, water and sewage projects, warning of disaster if nothing happens. “A small investment is needed to avoid a bigger one, and it is a humanitarian issue that has nothing to do with politics or security,” he said.

Water wars

Water scarcity has become a growing problem in the Middle East, East Africa and the US.

Although the Middle East has experienced water scarcity for quite some time, Jay Famiglietti, principal investigator of a recently published Nasa study, has said that there was an “alarming rate of decrease in total water storage in the Tigris and Euphrates river basins, which currently has the second fastest rate of groundwater storage loss on Earth, after India”. With tensions already high in this region, water scarcity could become another cause of conflict.

Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the driest regions in the world. East Africa, in particular the Nile River basin, has seen conflict rise over who controls fresh water supplies. Due to limited resources, the Sudanese civil war between 1983 and 2005 became a struggle over territory which in turn led to conflicts over water supplies. The impact on the population and irrigation of the country would be substantial. After 22 years of fighting, 400,000 people were killed and 2.5 million were displaced from their homes.

Water cleanliness is an issue that is having considerable impact on sub-Saharan Africa. According to the charity WaterAid, 16.4 million people in Kenya and 43.4 million people in Ethiopia don’t have access to safe water.

The US is also facing significant strain on fresh-water supplies. According to WaterSense, a partnership program of the US Environmental Protection Agency: “Nearly every region of the country has experienced water shortages. At least 36 states are anticipating local, regional, or state-wide water shortages” this year, “even under non-drought conditions”.

Water scarcity was recently addressed by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who warned that by 2030 nearly half the world’s population could be facing a scarcity of water, with demand outstripping supply by 40 per cent.