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  1. 1. April 2003 Issue 2The Galilee Society- The Arab National Society for Health Research and Services is a leading, community-based,professional Arab NGO. The overriding goal of the Galilee Society is to achieve equitable health and socio-economicconditions, and increase development opportunities for Palestinian Arabs in Israel, as individual citizens and as anational minority through research, advocacy, demonstration, capacity building and awareness raising.War on Iraq: Emergency HotlineAs a result of the war on Iraq, and the continuing worsening situation in the West Bank and Gaza, theGalilee Society, in cooperation with The High Follow-Up Committee for the Arab Citizens in Israel,Ittijah, AL Manal, The Arab Psychologists Association, and hospitals in Nazareth established a hotline(1-700-501-201) where professionals assist Palestinians who need emergency medical and/orpsychological assistance. Official Israeli hotlines do not provide such assistance in Arabic. Hospitalsin the Arab city of Nazareth do not receive the subsidies from the Ministry of Health for equipmentand preparations to treat cases of chemical or biological contaminations.Other assistance measures are in place and hotlines established in coordination with Palestinian NGOs in theOccupied Territories (OT) and Israel to assist Palestinians living on both sides of the Green Line in issues concerningaccess to media, health, provisions, human rights, prisoners, and international coordination.In preparatory meetings, these organizations, along with other political and non-governmental representatives, urgedthe relief committees to resume their activities in support of Palestinians in the OT. They also warned of intensifiedIsraeli military attacks and increased repressive measures in the OT, while using the media to justify this escalation bygiving the false impression that Israeli society is threatened. Interview: Hana Hamdan, Director of the Rikaz Databank speaks about the latest developments in the Galilee Societys online DatabankQ What is the Rikaz databank?Rikaz is an online databank which provides up-to-date, accurate socio-economic data about the Palestinian minority inIsrael. Data is available in the fields of demography, education, employment, labor force, living standards, socialindicators and health.Q What are the sources of this data?Data in Rikaz is based on official statistics published by the government. New data is added and updated continuously.We will purchase data from official institutions and new sources and conduct surveys that will enable Rikaz to releasenew information about the Palestinian Arabs in Israel. New data about employment and unemployment rates and newstatistics about education have recently been added.Q Is data accessible for all?Rikaz offers free admission to many sections of the databank, while full access needs a subscription. Users canexplore Rikaz and get free information such as statistics about Arab women in the labor force or Arab and Jewishrecipients of academic degrees, and view graphic demonstrations that show how to optimize the available data.Rikazs publications are also free of charge.Q How do I subscribe?Information about subscription fees is available in Rikazs website. There are different fees for institutions andindividuals. It is very important for us to receive feedback from our subscribers and potential users, hence, contactinformation, a user forum and a survey can be found on our website. It is also vital for us to update those interestedwith our news and additions, so if you are interested please visit our website at or contact us Rikaz Databank has been made possible with a generous grant from the Ford Foundation. We have just receivedapproval of a new grant of US$ 300,000 for two years 2003 – 2005. 2003. ! " # "%& $ & ((( & &
  2. 2. On International Womens Day: "The invisibility of women"By Dr. Cameel Makhoul and Maria VilaIn a forgotten neighborhood in an Arab village in the each year, and about 7% are exposed to ongoingGalilee, nearly 300 young women between the ages of abuse.13 - 24 have dropped-out from school and stay athome to take care of the household. While at home, The available data, based on police and hospitalthese women are subject to continuous domestic reports, are a considerable underestimate of the truephysical and sexual abuse, as well as suffer from self extent of this phenomenon, since many women mayneglect and obesity. The little information about this be reluctant or afraid to report domestic and otherviolence is reported to social workers or psychologists violence.through friends of the victims only after they try to Male violence against women is an internationalcommit suicide. The solicitation of specialists at this phenomenon with no differentiation between country,late stage hinders taking preventive measures. The religion, and race or socio-economic background. InGS believes that civil societys organizations in Russia, every 40 minutes a woman is killed; in Chinacooperation with official institutions should work there are 15,000 sexual slaves; in the USA every 6together on programs that encourage women to minutes a woman is raped; and in Bangladesh menovercome cultural obstacles and ask for psychological use cans of Sulphuric Acid costing one Euro againstassistance before it is too late. women for many reasons such as land property,It is estimated that in Israel, approximately 60 to 120 forcing women to hide their disfigured faces under thewomen are sexually assaulted each day. Between veil.1990 and 1998, 196 women were murdered (151 Jews Recommended reading: Xinran Xue, The Goodand 45 Arabs). Nearly 10% of married women in Israel Women of China: Hidden Voices, 2002(Jews and Arabs) are subject to domestic violenceProjects: Al-Maissam, The Center for Research & Study of Medicinal Plants – Kafr KannaEdited from material prepared by Taher Karaman, Business Development ManagerRealizing the need to preserve and revitalize Arab In its first year, the center has already promotedindigenous folk medicine, The Galilee Society excellence. Two of its instructors, 19-year-old InasRegional R&D Center established the first botanical Abu-Sweid and Duaa Zreiqat participated in thegarden and plant resource center for "Young Scientists" annual competitiontraditional medicinal plants in the Middle organized by The Bloomfield Museum forEast and is developing it into a community- Sciences in Jerusalem. Inas placed 4thoriented center to meet local needs. nationwide.The facility contains a laboratory, a lecture Recently, three classrooms were added inhall and a Botanical Garden growing a Al-Maissam as well as administrationcollection of the region’s indigenous plants offices, algae & fish pools, an aviary forand herbs. The facility has been a major local domestic and wild birds, and an apiaryattraction for Arab school students in the Galilee. for beehives. All these additions support the increasedSince the beginning of the year, about 1000 students educational activities in the fields of botanic andhave visited the Center. About 350 follow the "young indigenous plants, marine life (algae and fish),researchers" special program where they participate beekeeping and honey benefits, insects as beneficialin a series of science classes and conduct their own organic pest fighters, recycling methods,scientific research using the Centers facilities. environmental conservation, and the study of interfaces among all living things.Environment: Litigation for Protecting the EnvironmentBy Raida Dada Kirawani, Advocate, Environment DepartmentIn many countries where minorities are discriminated against, environmental rights are also disrespected. Often,polluting industrial zones, stone quarries, sewage, and toxic waste are located in proximity to weak groups such aspoor suburbs or minorities localities.As a result of the states systematic discriminatory policies, Arabs in Israel live in substandard, health threateningenvironmental conditions. This includes a high concentration of existing and planned stone quarries in proximity toArab towns, and the absence of sewage networks, etc.Moreover, complaints to official institutions are often ignored and disregarded. When a response is received, theanswer is always that the issue is being studied. From previous GS experience, we found that litigation is an efficientway to create pressure and protect the environment. ! " # "%& $ & ((( & &
  3. 3. Since 1995, the GS has handled over 60 cases. At present, the GS is preparing on behalf of the residents of the villageof Rama a case against the National Water Company – Mekorot. The water company, on two occasions, completelyshut off water supply to all citizens and businesses in the village in order to obtain the water fees collected by the localcouncil from the community. The GS argues that by doing so Mekorot is breaking the law according to which it is illegalto cut off the water supply as a means of obtaining payment, and GS will demand that the company refrain fromfulfilling the threats of doing so in the future.Inequality also characterizes the enforcement of court orders. For example, when the residents of the Jewish town ofAbirim were the plaintiffs, the Fasouta Stone Quarry was closed within two months from the beginning of legalproceedings, whereas in the case of the Alon-Sajour Stone Quarry where complaints were mainly from Arab residents,the quarry is still operating 9 years after the court order.TawasolTawasol is an Arabic word that means the continuity of connection between people. Throughout its 20 years of workThe Galilee Society has welcomed and worked with volunteers from all over the world. The GS believes that theserelationships overcome borders and enrich the community, both culturally and professionally.Rita McGaughey, from the USA, volunteered for many years in the GS and contributed a lot to the GSs internationalactivity, especially in organizing the 1991 International Conference on Minorities Health in Developed Countries. Ritawas honored at the GS Health Conference held in December 2002, and has sent us a letter of thanks in which shestates: "I am very touched by the recognition given to my volunteer service […]. The beautiful plaque will be hung in aprominent place in my house as a reminder of that unique opportunity to share your Arab culture as well as theSocietys goals. […] It is encouraging to know that the Societys goals continue to focus on health conditions of Arabsin Israel. The well-being of all people is an important component in seeking world peace. I congratulate all of you forfurthering these goals".Two new volunteers have joined the GSMaria Vila Rebolo, from Spain. Maria is a graduate in Human Rights and has worked with many Spanish solidarityand development associations. She has also worked in the Palestinian Cultural Center for Children in Al FawwarRefugee Camp - Hebron through the European Volunteer Service and since 2002 has been volunteering withPalestinian NGOs in Israel. Maria assists the GSs Projects Development and the International Relations Departmentsin many of their activities.Habeeb Karayanni, Habeeb is Palestinian from the Galilee; he is a graduate of Mechanical Engineering fromGermany and has extensive international experience in environmental technologies from Germany, Greece, as well aswith Palestinian organizations in the PNA and Israel. Habeeb is volunteering at the GS Regional R&D Center.Forthcoming eventsApril 2-12 Participation of Dr. Basel Ghattas, the GS General Director, in the seminar on Rural Development in Arid Areas in the Mediterranean that will take place in Valencia organized by the Spanish research institute CERAI. Dr. Ghattas will also hold a series of meetings with Spanish NGOs in Madrid.April Meeting with the GS partners, ICCO and Christian Aid (To be confirmed).May 15 Commemoration of Al Nakba day. Please feel free to forward this document and to send us your comments. If you wish to subscribe or unsubscribe please email with the subject Newsletter. ! " # "%& $ & ((( & &