By Donna Baranski-Walker - Founder & Executive Director, Rebuilding Alliance
First option for Khan al Ahmar Master Plan
Our Rebuilding to Remain program was wonderfully well-received by the Palestinian Monetary Authority who assured us that by partnering with Al Aqaba's Housing Cooperative to allow them to issue loans to their members, our program is in full compliance with Palestinian law.
We hoped to attract seed funding from Palestinian banks, but we learned that funding from them for even a small amount would put their banks at risk of retaliation. That's because all transactions in the Palestinian economy are in shekels and must be processed through Israeli banks. Since home construction financing in Area C would not wait for approval by the Israeli Army (they have not been approving master plans), this financing program would put the Palestinian banks at risk - and that is a risk they cannot take — but we can.
The villagers in Al Aqaba have continued to build and many have nearly finished their new homes. New demolition orders have not been issued. Remarkably, Mayor Haj Sami was successful in evicting a settler group who moved in nearby.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Bedouin village of Khan al Ahmar is offering to move their village a few hundred meters in accordance with the wonderful master plan they've developed. They will need financing to build the eco-friendly, traditional homes they dream of, and also the stables for their sheep and goats. They are visiting Al Aqaba and we'll work with them to set-up their Cooperative Housing Association too.
Instead of waiting for banks and other large orgs to provide funding for our Rebuilding to Remain program, let's draw upon the safest form of investment: one another. Please chip-in what you can afford — we'll leverage your donation and move Rebuilding to Remain forward and expand to include more families and more villages.
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