This conversation with Dror Etkes addresses his work with organizations monitoring the Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, in particular through the NGO he created in 2012, Kerem Navot. We begin by conversing about the very name of this organization, telling the story of the biblical character, Navot, against whom King Ach’av plots to steal his land. We then examines both official and non-official Palestinian land seizing by the Israeli army and settlers. These takes over are always characterized by their justification by a legal narrative claiming their legitimacy. We particularly insist on the agricultural function of most land expropriated by the Israeli settlers, before addressing the real estate economy of the settlements themselves. We finish the conversation by describing Dror’s method in his monitoring work (see report and case study below).
Dror Etkes is the founder and the director of the Israeli NGO Kerem Navot, established during 2012 and employing comprehensive land-use research to challenge the systems and policies that enable ongoing dispossession of Palestinians from their land in the West Bank. This work is in the continuity of his past one for Peace Now and Yesh Din, where he headed settlement tracking projects and monitored agricultural activity.