New agreement on land protection and settlement

Birzeit University and the Land and Water Settlement Committee signed a new memorandum of understanding on September 17, 2018, to build capacities and develop knowledge in land surveying and its settlement and development, in addition to linking land data with geographic information systems. University President Abdullatif Abuhijleh and Chairman of the Land and Water Settlement Committee Mousa Shakarneh signed the agreement.

The memorandum of understanding lays the foundation for presenting services and consultancies and organizing workshops on land surveying, settlement. Both parties will cooperate in developing a database and computerized maps related to lands by engaging students in research, trainings, and conferences.  As a result, students will have the competencies to work in the land sector after graduation.

In the signing ceremony, President Abuhijleh said that Birzeit University “see[s] great potential in this new cooperation that specifically aims to save our land ownership, which is constantly facing Israeli violations and abuse.” He pledged to offer full scholarships for two of the committee’s employees to study in the geography master’s program for the academic year 2018-2019.

The president added that this memorandum will be valid for three years, during which time technical and legal consultancy will be provided to the committee, while the latter will encourage its employees to enroll in the university’s graduate programs, especially in geography, architectural engineering, planning, and law.

Shakarna assured that the committee will be collaborating with Birzeit University in providing the data needed for research purposes, and building material for trainings and workshops.