University students, Palestinian youth renovate Hebron water spring, bolster local existence
Birzeit University students together with youth from Hebron and Bethlehem have turned the area surrounding a natural water spring in Khalet al-Maiyya, a village nine kilometers south of Hebron, into a public park on Saturday, May 4, 2019. The activity aims to bolster the resistance of Palestinians and forms part of a project led by Birzeit University’s Center for Development Studies.
The group of students and youth were able to install a local water-supply network in the area with support from ActionAid and the Land Defense Coalition. They thus established a sustainable development process that not only maximizes the value gained from land but also raises community awareness on measures to counter the ongoing Israeli land grab.
Linda Tabar, director of the Center for Development Studies, said that the project aligns with the center’s mission to create alternative development models that bolster Palestinian existence in marginalized areas and build long-lasting partnerships with community-led organizations.
Hasan Awad, head of Khalet al-Maiyya’s village council, highlighted the importance of the project in providing jobs for the area, strengthening Palestinian steadfastness, and enabling the use of groundwater for agriculture and consumption.
Salah Khawaja, who represents the Land Defense Coalition, stressed the role of cooperation between private, public, and non-governmental institutions in creating alternative sustainable development models capable of boosting Palestinian resistance.