United Cities and Local Governments Middle East and West Asia Section (UCLG-MEWA) organized a webinar in cooperation with the Association of Palestinian Local Authorities (APLA) and with the support of the UN-Habitat ROAS, on the “Right to City Under Occupation: The Palestine Case” on 7 June 2021 with a participation. The webinar sought to address the humanitarian crisis in Palestine through the lenses of the locals from a right-to-the-city perspective, and the participants had the opportunity to hear what Palestinian local leaders had to say.



The webinar started with the opening speech of the UCLG-MEWA Secretary General Mehmet Duman. During his speech, he emphasized: “The right to the city, which means everyone’s equal participation in city life and equal use of opportunities, is systematically violated by the occupying power in Palestine.” Following him, Mohamad Saadie, UCLG-MEWA President and President of the Union of Dannieh Municipalities, took the floor to address the participants. He highlighted that the promises made by the international community to implement the sustainable development goals and provide a decent life for all citizens must also include the Palestinian citizen.Musa Hadid, UCLG-MEWA Co-President and President of APLA, highlighted the Palestinians’ right to defend their land, saying: “Apart from the right to the city and a decent life, since Palestine is targeted by the occupation, we must always focus on the right to land in Palestine.”During his speech, Dr. Erfan Ali, Director of UN-Habitat Regional Office for the Arab States, said: “The future plans of the UN-Habitat in Palestine focus on increasing technical support in all areas of local government management, with a focus on capacity building and the institutional and legislative system regulating the local government in Palestine.”

After the opening speeches, the “Right to Stay and Free Movement” session started. Among the speakers of the session moderated by Suhail Khalilieh, Head of Urbanization Monitoring Department, ARIJ, were Mohammed Hussein, Mufti of Jerusalem and Holy Lands; Issam Faroun, Mayor of Al-Azarieh (Bethany); and Tayseer Abu Sneineh, Mayor of Al Khalil (Hebron).

The second session of the day was titled “Right to Development,” in which Musa Hadid, Mayor of Ramallah; Mohammed Alramahi; General Director of MDLF; and Azem Haj Mohammed from Furush Beit Dajan Village Council participated as speakers under the moderation of Ahmad El- Atrash, UN-Habitat Senior Urban Programme Officer.

You can view the video of the webinar, which aimed to examine the humanitarian crisis in Palestine through the lenses of the locals from a right-to-the-city perspective on UCLG-MEWA’s YouTube channel.

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