Alaa Tartir

Alaa Tartir is the Program Director of Al-Shabaka: The Palestinian Policy Network. Tartir is also a Research Fellow at the Centre on Conflict, Development, and Peacebuilding (CCDP), The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID), Geneva, Switzerland, and a post-doctoral fellow at The Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP). Tartir is also a contributing member to The Political Economy Project of the Arab Studies Institute, George Mason University, and a contributing member of the Palestinian Strategic Thinking Group. Amongst other positions, Tartir previously served as Visiting Scholar at Utrecht University’s Department of History and Art History, The Netherlands, and Researcher in International Development Studies at the London School of Economics (LSE), where he earned his PhD. Follow Alaa Tartir on Twitter: https://twitter.com/alaatartir and read his publications at www.alaatartir.com  


Policy Brief Politics

The Palestinian Authority Security Forces: Whose Security?

Palestinian Israeli Security Coordination

As Israel’s military occupation reaches its 50th year, Al-Shabaka Program Director Alaa Tartir argues that the Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces have not protected Palestinians, but have instead contributed to the criminalization of the Palestinian struggle for freedom. Tartir analyzes the evolution and “reform” of the PA security establishment and concludes with recommendations to overhaul the PA forces.

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Focus Politics

Focus On: Palestinian-Israeli Security Coordination

Palestine security coordination

The Palestine Liberation Organization’s top leadership body, the Central Council, called for a halt to Palestinian security coordination with Israel in 2015. Yet PLO Chair Mahmoud Abbas has described it as sacred despite the breakdown of the peace process to end Israel’s 50-year military occupation and colonization of Palestinian territory. The killing by Israeli forces of activist and youth leader Basil Al-Araj, whom the Palestinian Authority had previously imprisoned – raising accusations that his jailing was part of its so-called revolving door policy - has refocused public attention on the issue. In the selection of pieces below, Al-Shabaka policy analysts discuss the origins and pillars of Israeli-PA security coordination as well as its consequences for the Palestinian people, who experience it as an additional layer of oppression to the multiple violations of their rights under occupation, within Israel, and in exile. 

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Roundtable Politics

Palestine After Abbas: Potential Scenarios and Coping Strategies

With the election of Donald Trump, Israel believes it is free to do what it likes in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, making a difficult Palestinian leadership transition much harder. Al-Shabaka policy analysts examine different scenarios and propose alternatives ranging from consolidating the state to a struggle for the rights of the Palestinian people as a whole.

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Roundtable Politics

Palestinian Youth Revolt: Any Role for Political Parties?

Palestinian parties remain entrenched in the political system despite their splits and weaknesses. What role can they play within - or outside - the PLO and what other avenues exist for national or local leadership? While some Al-Shabaka policy analysts offer ideas beyond the current political set-up, others suggest ways to make the current structure work.

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Policy Brief Politics

After Gaza, What Price Palestine’s Security Sector?

Gaza Security

The Palestinian Authority’s security sector has grown faster than any other part of the government, potentially putting Palestine on track to a police state. With the unity government moving into Gaza after Israel’s terrible 51-day assault, Al-Shabaka Policy Member Sabrien Amrov and Program Director Alaa Tartir call for the urgent need to reform the donor-driven “reform” of a sector that only serves Israel’s colonization project. Read the policy brief or the executive summary.

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Policy Brief Economic Issues

Palestinian Farmers: A Last Stronghold of Resistance

Photo of Palestinian farmers

Israel's brutal crackdowns on Palestinians living under its occupation dominate the news, but other longer-term trends are equally worrying. The Palestinian Authority is confiscating more and more land from Palestinian farmers in order to build industrial zones, which strips farmers of their right to grow their own food and further increases Palestinian dependency on Israel. Al-Shabaka Guest Author Vivien Sansour and Al-Shabaka Program Director Alaa Tartir argue that sustained community efforts are needed to preserve one of the most important elements of resistance that Palestinians have.

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Policy Brief Economic Issues

Can Oslo’s Failed Aid Model Be Laid to Rest?

Oslo aid illustration

The Oslo Accords not only left the Palestinian people much worse off politically; they also devastated the economy of those living under Israeli occupation despite the $23 billion-plus that donors have poured into the territory. What’s worse, Wildeman and Tartir found no signs of a change in donor policies in their recent study.

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Commentary Economic Issues

PA Industrial Zones: Cementing Statehood or Occupation?

Industrial zones are criticized in the Arab region and beyond. The problem is much worse in the occupied Palestinian territory because the zones help Israel “normalize” its occupation, as Al-Shabaka Programme Director Alaa Tartir sets out in this trenchant commentary. He calls on the Palestinian youth movement and civil society to use the issue in a call for a completely different approach to development under occupation.

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Policy Brief Economic Issues

Persistent Failure: World Bank Policies for the Occupied Palestinian Territories

Photo by World Bank

The recent World Bank growth report frankly concludes that the Palestinian economy is fragile and dependent on foreign aid: No surprises there. Far more surprising – not to say shocking – are the Bank’s irrelevant and sometimes harmful recommendations, as Al-Shabaka Program Director Alaa Tartir and Guest Author Jeremy Wildeman reveal in this compelling analysis. The Bank’s prescriptions are all the more worrying given the influence it exercises over the donor community’s approach to Palestinian development.

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Policy Brief Economic Issues

Farming Palestine for Freedom

Photo by Jill Granberg

For Palestinians, agriculture is more than a source of income or an economic category in budgets and plans. It is tied to the people’s history, identity, and self-expression, and drives the struggle against Israel’s Separation Wall. In this brief, Lebanese activist, author, and agronomist Rami Zurayk joins Al-Shabaka Policy Advisors Samer Abdelnour and Alaa Tartir to tackle the almost spiritual significance of the land to the Palestinians and the deliberate Israeli efforts to break the link between farmers and their crops. Click below for the full brief or read the executive summary.

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