Arij - Analyzing the Environmental Impact of the Separation Barrier in O.P.T

Project completed
ARIJ-analyzing the environmental impact of the Separation Barrier, Biet Hanina Barrier, photo by Fadi Amirah, © SDC

Support to a Palestinian Research Institution in performing field-based research to document the effects of Israeli occupation and land-appropriation practices on Palestinian livelihoods, in particular with respect to the environmental dimensions of the construction of the Separation Barrier. Furthering of a networked, peer-topeer collaboration among Palestinian Authority, Academic, UN, civil society and donor organisations in a delicate advocacy endeavour underpinned by principles of International Humanitarian and Human Rights Law.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Palestinian Authority
Human rights
Agriculture & food security
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Research (til 2007)
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
Agricultural development
01.01.2012 - 31.12.2015
CHF  1’420’000

The Israeli occupation practices confine the large majority of the 3.8 million Palestinians living in Gaza (1.5 million) and the West Bank (2.3 million), including East Jerusalem, to fragmented entities. Violations committed on a daily basis by the occupying power are worsened by the inability and unwillingness of the Palestinian authorities in Ramallah and in Gaza to safeguard the rights of the Palestinians living under their jurisdiction. The construction of habitation and economic settlements, reinforced by the route of the Separation Barrier and its associated permit regime, is at the core of the negotiations between parties. All stakeholders are interested in knowing what consequences the occupying power practices have on the Palestinian livelihoods.


The overall objective is to protect Palestinians' rights by documenting and monitoring the environmental effects of Israeli occupation practices, particularly regarding the "Separation Barrier", and by providing updated data and relevant knowledge to the development, humanitarian and diplomatic communities.

Target groups

The public at large, governmental institutions, decision makers and international bodies in having access to knowledge and information about environment, natural resources management that are relevant for the defence of Palestinians' rights in the context of the Israeli occupation. Palestinian communities in better asserting their rights.

Medium-term outcomes

  • Mutual cooperation between ARIJ, other Palestinian institutions and the United Nations agencies is established and leads to an increased relevance and quality of IHL and HR reporting and advocacy related to Israeli occupation practices.
  • Palestinians, diplomats, decision-makers and international bodies are better informed about Israeli violations of IHL and International Human Rights Laws (IHRL) and construction activities in the occupied Palestinian territory;
  • The environmental dimension of the effects of Israeli occupation practices is integrated into advocacy activities;
  • The Palestinian decision-makers and donors recognize the importance of projects and programmes addressing the environmental problems in the oPt and the region.
  • Improved urban and environmental planning capacities of municipalities and local municipal councils, in particular in environmental and resource-based aspects.
  • Results

    Results from previous phases:  

    • Complete set of georeferenced maps indicating incremental settlement and Separation Barrier construction by Israel.
    • Environmental and socio-economic consequences of Israeli occupation practices documented and quantified from a Palestinian perspective.
    • Map materials prepared for Palestinian negotiation team.


    Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
    Credit area Development cooperation
    Project partners Contract partner
    Foreign academic and research organisation
    • Research Organisation of South East

    Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    1’420’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    1’432’772
    Project phases

    Phase 7 01.01.2012 - 31.12.2015   (Completed)