The Barrier Monitoring Unit (BMU) completes all studies in co-operation with partner organisations.
While building partner networks, the BMU sought from the beginning to represent the three estates of society: governmental, non-governmental and academic organisations. This adds a representative cross-section of Palestinian society to the BMU’s network of partners and strengthens each other’s capacity to work on joint projects.
In 2011 the BMU surveyed 665 West Bank ID-holders “stranded” on the Jerusalem side of the Barrier. These households in communities surrounding Jerusalem are living in limbo, with their residency status and isolation from the rest of the West Bank directly linked to the construction of the Barrier. This survey covers numerous impacts of the Barrier, such as socio-economic conditions, psycho-social effects, protection issues, and access to services such as health and education.
Between June 2011 and June 2012, the BMU and the Applied Research Institute Jerusalem (ARIJ) conducted joint research on the environmental impacts of the Barrier, the effects on Palestinian livelihoods, and the already-vulnerable Palestine refugee population. This joint survey targeted over 170 directly-affected communities and consisted of focus group discussions with village council and municipality representatives, and farmers owning land behind the Barrier.
BMU research teams regularly follow up on access issues when carrying out surveys in the over 170 communities currently listed as directly-affected by the Barrier. These surveys contribute to a broad understanding of the impacts on access and are carried out in conjunction with the Baseline study.
Through this study, the BMU tries to understand the impact of the Barrier on rural Palestine refugees and their communities. This population faces decreasing land access, which constrains their ability to develop agriculture to sustain themselves. The results indicate that the Barrier has a disproportionate effect on refugees who are already vulnerable because of their refugee status.
The BMU surveyed Ar Ramadin in the south Hebron hills, a Bedouin community of over 3,000 residents mostly comprising Palestine refugees. This research followed the extension of the Barrier into the area in 2009. This is our first comprehensive study on a household level and captures the impact of the Barrier denying access to agricultural land.
This is a comprehensive survey of all rural communities that lost land to the Barrier or are located in the areas designated as a ‘closed military area’ – generally found between the Barrier and the internationally-recognised 1949 Armistice Line between Israel and the West Bank. The International Court of Justice‘s 2004 Advisory Opinion on the “Legal Consequence of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory” advised that the Barrier, and its associated regime, is in violation of international law and should be dismantled immediately. It also advised that Israel is “under an obligation to return the land, orchards, olive groves and other immovable property seized from any natural or legal person for purposes of construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.” (paragraph 153). The BMU incorporated the ICJ Opinion into its work through the Baseline Study.
The Barrier Monitoring Unit is currently planning to carry out pilot studies in the Jerusalem municipal areas beyond the Barrier. The research topics concern educational access and general socio-economic impacts.