Al Aqaba, a small West Bank Palestinian Village located in the Jordan Valley is at a watershed moment. That town is under threat of demolition- as are 149 Palestinian towns in the area now controlled by Israel. The village is initiating a sustainable community development plan, asking your help to bring architects, engineers, families, the village council, local banks, guarantors, and media together this July in a 3 week design collaborative to plan affordable, eco-sustainable homes with dignity
Palestinian families are prohibited from building on their own land. Since 1967 the Israeli army demolished over 24,800 Palestinian homes, displaced more than 180,300 people, and built Israeli-only settlements on land that belongs to Palestinian families. Demolition orders now blanket the Jordan Valley. This man-made policy can be changed. Start in Al Aqaba. Families are ready to move home despite the risks. They need good design, mortgage financing, solid advocacy to build trust and a future.
To address the critical need for enduring housing, help the village convene a “Design Charrette” this July. Goal: To design, with direct community involvement, modular homes to be built with local labor and materials, through affordable 15K mortgages matched by donated down payments. Deliverables will include construction strategies, drawings, and financing options. This process will be chronicled daily to showcase to all parties involved, the village’s choice to create a viable peaceful future.
Palestinians are entitled to their collective right to plan towns and issue building permits on the land they own — just like towns anywhere in the world. Al Aqaba’s example will provide a blueprint, a way to secure appropriate planning to meet the needs of the 150,000 Palestinians who live in the 60% of the West Bank now administered solely by Israel. Their housing development plan, created to world-class standards, will be a catalyst for community organizing, equal rights, and fair housing.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
The Prohibited Zone: Israeli Planning in Area C
Crazy Country Blog
Wikipedia Page about Al Aqaba
Guardian Article on Demolitions of Homes & School