This month the Palestinian Mobile Cinema will visit 14 Bedouin Communities living in Area C, showing films to many for the first time in their lives, with the aim of raising these groups’ awareness of and resilience to forced displacement, and to strengthen the coping strategies of the communities, who are being systematically driven by the Israeli occupation from the land on which they have lived for centuries.
Area C is the 60 per cent of the West Bank under full Israeli control following the 1993 Oslo Accords when the occupied Palestinian Territories were divided into areas A, B and C. This means that Israel keep full security control, and control over building and planning in the whole area, and although the Oslo Accords called for the gradual transfer of power and responsibility to the Palestinian Authorities; this was frozen in 2000.
Today, whilst livestock dependency in Areas A and B of the West Bank remains economically viable, the same livelihood under the regime of the Occupying Power in Area C is reaching a point of collapse. All Area C residents including the pastoralist communities are subject to the tight control of land exerted by the Israeli authorities, which restricts the movement of Area C residents and is implemented through diverse measures. These include closed military areas, checkpoints, the West Bank Barrier and its buffer zone, nature reserves, facilitation of settlement expansion, restrictions on construction and ‘administrative demolition’ of all structures without building permits.
For the semi-nomadic herder whose livelihood depends on his ability to move freely along seasonal migration routes in order to access rangeland and natural water resources, these restrictions have had a crippling effect.
Livestock-dependent communities in Area C have become locked into a cycle of growing debt and poverty while also persistently being exposed to ongoing settler harassment and also to multiple counts of ‘administrative home demolition’ by the Israeli Authorities, essentially destroying many of the tents and shacks that communities erect for habitation.
Together with UNWRA the Palestinian Mobile Cinema has identified 14 of the most vulnerable bedouin communities living in Area C to visit, some within meters of illegal Israeli settlements. We will screen a range of children’s entertainment films, and documentaries which address issues of human and minority rights with ideas of how to face and cope with enforced displacement.